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Viewpoint from Dave Weeks 27/05/2016 

D WeeksDave Weeks
Pastor, Hope Church

During World War II, the allies bombed the German city of Dresden. The city was virtually destroyed including the huge church called the Frauenkirche. This church was left in its ruined state until 1993 when reconstruction work began. It was completed in 2005

dove leftAs part of the rebuilding the architects endeavoured to use as many of the original stones as possible. In all they salvaged 8500. The original stones they were able to reuse were measured and catalogued and, using computers, it was determined where each of these stones had originally been placed in the structure and then placed in the same places in the new building. As you look at the church now you can see these burnt and damaged stones in contrast to the new clean stones in the new construction

The Bible describes the church as 'a building made up of living stones’. Peter puts it like this, 'As you come to Jesus, the Living Stone, you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house..' (Peter 2:4-5). In other words the 'living stones' he refers to are people, people who have come to Jesus and put their faith and trust in Him and have committed their lives to Him. So the church is not a building, but people

Dove rightMany people's lives feel as though they have been through a war. They have been burned by life's experiences and have been stained and feel unclean. However, when we come to Jesus He not only accepts us and includes us in His 'building', the church; He also sets about cleaning us up. The Bible lists a catalogue of types of people whose lives were stained by their lifestyles, but then goes on to say 'And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified (made clean) the name of the Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

That means that when God looks at His true church (those who have committed their lives to Jesus), doesn't see a 'building' consisting of dirty burnt stained stones, He sees a people who have been cleansed and made whole, rejoicing alongside others who have also been cleansed and made whole, with Him at the centre

Can I encourage you, if you have not done so already, come to Jesus and be part of this wonderful thing called the church