Binding All Things Together
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” — Colossians 3:12-17
As we noted yesterday, we are being built together into a holy structure, a dwelling place for God. But if we are the building blocks of this Temple, what are the things that hold us together? Saint Paul tells us in the passage above that “love…binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Love is, as it were, the mortar that holds the bricks together in the walls of the Temple. For it is love which does the binding. It is love that cements the bricks together one to another. St Peter tells us in his first epistle (2:5) that we, “like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” The walls God is building are a living entity. We are the “living stones” in these walls. Our love for one another is what will make this structure sound and whole.
If we are honest with ourselves we will recognize that we are incapable of fulfilling this task. But St Paul also recognized this shortcoming in the people of God, so he says, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” We are to do everything “in the Name of the Lord Jesus.” If these walls will stand, then we must be “In Christ”! If we are living in Jesus Christ, in His Name, then we are in right relationship with Him. It is the relationship we have with Him and with the apostolic and prophetic Body of His Church that will give form to the structure of the walls. And when we are in right relationship He will be at work in us and will manifest His love through us that others might to be drawn into the fullness of his holy Temple.
It is love that “binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Love for God and love for one another is the key virtue of the masonry work of the Temple walls. Living out that love is what will give form and structure to the Temple that God desires to build for the worship of Him and for the life and protection of His Body.