So there we were at the Ash Wednesday service. I invited each person to take a black cobble and to think about the stone they were holding. Each was broken, each was imperfect, each was unique. Each stone was also dark, the colour traditionally associated with sin and wrongdoing.
I then invited each person to come and lay their stone at the foot of the cross as a sign of a renewed commitment to Christ, to seek once again His grace. What I hadn’t realised was that in this way we were creating a powerful image of the church.
Here we are as living stones gathered as one in Christ. All of us have rough edges and imperfections. We may not fit together very well, we may find it hard sometimes to get on with each other. But amazingly we are the material through whom Christ has decided to build His church, even in spite of our weakness and imperfections. In Christ we are being joined together and rising to become a holy temple in the Lord (Eph 2:21)
It was in light of this image we shared the peace at the end of the service. We then had to decide what to do with the stones. After some discussion service we agreed to take our stones home, with the plan that at both services on Sunday I will invite the rest of the congregations also to take a stone. Then at our first joint service on 6th March I will ask everyone from both churches to bring their stones back and we will lay them once again at the cross, as a reminder that we are together one body, the temple of the living God.
I would like to say this was all a master plan, but it was just the Holy Spirit at work revealing more of the truth of Christ in a way that was plain for all to see.