Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1 Corinthians 3:10-14
Paul’s imaginative picture of wise master builders and workmen building a physical structure, a temple, reminds me of another imaginative story.
Ainulindale is the first part of J R R Tolkien‘s epic The Silmarillion. The name means The Music of the Ainur. It is the creation story of Tolkien’s mythology of Middle Earth. From the thought of Iluvatar the creator spring musical creatures called the Ainur. Iluvatar frees the Ainur to create music which culminates in a great symphony. They sing and make harmonious music until one of them becomes purposely dissonant and draws others after himself. Yet the music continues. After all the music has come to completion, Iluvatar opens the musicians’ eyes to see where before they were only able to hear and to make music. When given sight, the Ainur view the glorious world their music created. All along the music was initiating and developing the whole world of Middle Earth, even its histories and its characters.
What if what we are doing in this world is building a kingdom, The Kingdom of God – New Earth and New Heaven!
Of course Paul said that some of what we build will not endure. God will judge it.
Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
1 Corinthians 4:5
We are laborers together with God: … I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon… If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God
1 Corinthians 3:9-16
What we do matters, and God will have His Temple.
Anybody who builds with unworthy materials “shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
Like Tolkien’s musical Ainur, we will one day see what we are building, and it will be glorious!
Why Children Should Be Taught Fairy Tales
Mythology : Earthly Reality :: Earthly Reality : Heaven
Mythologies and fairy tales are imaginative descriptions of earthly realities.
Earthly reality is a shadow cast by Heaven.
[Priests] who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.