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Beauty Under Construction

by Maurice Ashton*

Thoughts Index

          From time to time I visit Sydney, arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world (OK I'm biased). But every time I go there, there are ugly cranes and half-finished buildings, pavements torn up, huge holes being dug for new foundations and so on. Currently they are building the eastern bypass and the new underground railway to the airport. It looks like a giant wombat has been burrowing through the city. In the 35 years I have visited Sydney I have never seen the perfect city with everything just so. It is always under construction.

          Our Christian experience is like that, always under construction, and there are always going to be the "ugly" bits where we develop, rebuild, succeed, and, unfortunately, sometimes fail.

          The Christian church is like that as well. We can never look at the church and say, "That's it! It is finished." The observer will always notice the odd crane, the unfinished bits, the new constructions. However, just as I do not dismiss Sydney's beauty because of the construction, neither do I dismiss the beauty of individuals or the church because construction is in progress.

          We are not tourists just coming for a look. We are builders and constructors. We have to get into the holes and pour concrete, we have to (wo)man the cranes, and sometimes we may construct a beautiful building, or create a wide road, or a pretty park. But always, there will be another building, another road, another park to be built, and maintained, both in our own lives, and indeed in any church to which we belong as well.  

*Maurice writes from Australia and introduces himself as a friend of struggling Christians.


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