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Rev Gareth Burke: Like the architect of our new church, God brings order to chaos

Thought for the weekend

Transformation: the new Stranmillis church
Transformation: the new Stranmillis church

By Rev Gareth Burke

Today is a special day in the life of my congregation, Stranmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church. For the past 13 months, we have been meeting in temporary premises while a new building is erected on our site on the Stranmillis Road.

The end product is superb. The site is not big, yet the architect and contractor have succeeded in providing an amazing amount of space, and the new facility is far beyond anything we have had before.

Dr Derek Thomas, a previous minster of the congregation, is preaching at our opening service and throughout the weekend.

One of the things that amazes me about the new building is not just the amount of space but the way in which it all came together.

On visiting the site throughout the past year, there were moments when it seemed like a complete mess - a mix of mud, blocks, scaffolding and noise. It was difficult to discern the layout of the rooms or visualise what the end product was going to look like.

How can a building of such order have arisen from such chaos? The answer to this question is, I think, found in the number of drawings I noticed lying around on my visits. The architect's plans were obviously being followed carefully by those who were working on site. There was a plan. It may have looked chaotic and it was difficult to see just exactly what was happening but there was a plan.

Isn't it the same with our lives? Your life might look very messy just now. You may be finding it hard to understand what God is doing in your own experience.

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Your life might be filled with hurt and disappointment, and you may be wondering if God is in control at all, but those who have faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord have the comfort of knowing that "all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28)". There is a plan - God's plan. God is working out his purposes in us. One day the building project will be completed. The seeming chaos will give way to order and perfection.

The people of God, those saved by His grace, will enter into Heaven, where the mess of living in a fallen world will give way to an eternity of joy and beauty.

Belfast Telegraph


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