Under construction

1 Peter 2:4-5
“As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him
– you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering
spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Notre Dame de Paris after the fire:

On a visit to Paris three years ago, Amanda and I walked along the banks of the Seine opposite Notre
Dame. Two months previously, in April 2019, like millions of people, we had been on the verge of
tears when we watched TV images of the cathedral on fire. So we wanted to retrace the nostalgic
path of a few Parisian visits from long ago, during which we had become fond of this beautiful

Obviously, two months after the fire that ravaged the roof, the area around the site was closed to
the public. Nets protected certain features and temporary wooden reinforcements had been erected
to hold up weakened stonework. Everywhere, signs indicated that work was in progress.
Construction machinery, helmeted workers and the sound of compressors replaced the hordes of
tourists and the organ music we remembered from previous visits. How would the cathedral be
rebuilt? They say it will be restored to its original state (with fire prevention measures built in!),
though it may take up to 20 years.

The image of a stone building has always been used to illustrate spiritual construction. But the vision
of what is currently being done in Notre-Dame de Paris makes me wonder about the repairs needed
after the disasters of our lives. I think of the “fires” that have ravaged my own spiritual life in the
past, those moments when I feared that everything would fall apart. I am deeply grateful that God,
the Chief Architect, knows what He is doing.

Written by Jonathan and Amanda Hanley – adapted from L’Ère du temps, a “thought for the week” based on current affairs, originally published by SU-France and SU-Switzerland.

Read more in the series here