Have you seen this San Antonio house stuck in the 1970s? The slide show here proves that some homes age well, but even so there are telltale signs that this place was a product of the 70s.
The 70s were my teen years and I cringe at the home décor I saw in some of my friends’ houses. My career years, to my great delight, have been spent among much nicer architecture and fixtures.
This is a grand old building, constructed in 1917 and built to last a century. It is also woefully outdated, containing only 8 courtrooms when we need 13. That means we have judges in makeshift facilities in three locations nearby.
We’re in the middle of a building project for a new courthouse a couple blocks away. One problem with new construction is trying to make it look as fitting as the neo-classical building we now have. It can’t be replicated because no one has the money to build like that any more. Still, I think we’re doing well with the design and construction. Here’s what the new courthouse will look like.
Trying to build something that will be functional and in good taste for a hundred years is hard. Can you imagine building something that will never need replacing for all eternity? That’s what God is doing.
The Divine Architect
Just hours before his death, Jesus spend time reassuring his friends that he is not leaving them forever.
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2-3.)
This is a scenario they’d understand well, since Jesus is talking about the preparations a Jewish groom would make for his bride. After initiating the betrothal, the groom returns to his father’s house to prepare a room for him and his wife to live in. It could mean partitioning off a small space for some privacy, building a small room on as an addition to the house, or constructing a whole new wing or building in a large family compound.
Jesus gives them the same assurance a groom gives the bride: I’ll return to you and bring you home with me.
The house of God is not just the place where Jesus will bring those who belong to him, though. The people of God are themselves the house of God.
But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. (Hebrews 3:6.)
The building program is not finished, though. John returned to the theme when he wrote the last portion of Revelation.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
… The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone.
… I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (Revelation 21:2-3, 18-19, 22.)
God’s people are the Bride of Christ and they are the House of God itself; the new City of God is also the Bride of Christ; and the Temple of God in the new City is God himself.
It all lasts for eternity, and no architect but God could build it.