I’m tired today – too many meetings, the usual District Superintendent quota of fires that have to be put out, and a sheer burden for our churches, and the world. For whatever reason, I’m really feeling it today. I have a support system: my family, the Cabinet, friends. I need reassurance that God is here, too.
What helped today was remembering Sir Christopher Wren. He rebuilt much of London after the Great Fire of 1666. Over fifty churches are a part of his architectural legacy. They include many graceful styles.
For instance, one of his most striking designs was of St. Paul’s Cathedral in downtown London, the church immortalized in WWII newsreels. There’s even a shot of its dome at the beginning of the new Harry Potter movie. Wren’s design of St. Paul’s established him as the world’s leading architect. Unfortunately, that fame led jealous rivals to criticize his work even more. When Christopher Wren designed St. Paul’s he created a massive dome supported by a single column. The uproar was predictable, “Surely this church will crumble! He must add additional supports.”
But Wren held firm. He was confident in his work, but it was one of the few battles that this genius would lose. Amid tremendous political intrigue, the prominent designer was forced to add two more columns to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The controversy faded and was forgotten. Half a century later the dome needed repainting, so workmen assembled scaffolds. Were they ever surprised! The two added columns were never connected to the roof. Short by two feet, but close enough not to be detected from the floor, they served as a decoration or adornment for appearance only.
Wren had the last word. His ability and the completed project were both vindicated. Just one support was enough to bear all that weight. There is only One support that the rest of us need, too – Jesus. I hear the words in my ears, “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand…”