The Rector's Lookout

Mother Elisabeth Sinclair

Jul 23, 2021

We at Christ Church have a beautiful, unparalleled, fixed house of worship. I am daily awed by it. People before us poured their finances, energy, expertise, and creativity in preparing it for God and us. It is a place of stability, peace, loveliness, and historicity. It connects us with our past and future. It is a sacred place in which we meet with God and each other. But, ultimately, it is a building which God’s Spirit alone can animate with a theological vision.

When King David offered to build a house for God, his motivations may have been pure—as described in 2 Samuel 7—but most likely, they were mixed. We know from the rest of David’s life story as king that he happily amassed wealth and prestige, not to mention wives and concubines. Having a beautiful, unparalleled, and fixed house for God in David’s own city would surely bring him added renown and authority. Writer and pastor Robert Hoch, in a Working Preacher commentary on last Sunday’s text, wisely noted that during David’s youth and young adulthood, he had often been on the move, as a shepherd, a fugitive, and a warrior. By the time in his life when God had granted Israel peace from her enemies and David was established, he probably wanted to hang on to the stability he had gained. Hoch wrote: “Sojourners ache for something tangible to secure their present life, to ground themselves in something that proves they lived, they mattered: Cedar houses, endowments, tall steeples, children attending prestigious universities — things we imagine “settle” us in the land of the living… Like David, the house of God is always vulnerable to colonization by creaturely appetites rather than theological vision.”

During the next several weeks, will you concertedly pray and imagine with me about what vision God might have for Christ Church the building and Christ Church the community during this season in her and Mexico City’s history? “Unless the LORD builds the house, the laborers build in vain.” –Psalm 127:1