The story is told of about Bishop Evrard De Fouilloy. The story begins with the Bishop looking with great pride at the cathedral (Probably Amiens Cathedral in Amiens, France) which he had paid for out of his own treasury. He thought that there was no more beautiful house of God in all the world (naturally that's what he would think since he built it). He was proud of himself and his investment. He happened to notice in his gazing that the niche over the pulpit had no carving or statue so he decided to have a statue of himself placed there.
That night as he slept, an angel came to him letting him know that the cathedral and its workmanship were not his own and, further, that the cathedral was there to honor God and not himself. He suddenly awoke, feeling very grieved and sorrowful. Suddenly, he was overwhelmed by his sinfulness. So, instead of putting up a statue of himself, he arranged that he should be buried outside the great church, in front of the middle entrance, in such a way that the slab over his grave would serve as a stepping stone to the cathedral. At his death it was done and hundreds of year later, people are still able to make their way to worship by stepping on the stone where the Bishop was buried.
We are, in a sense, walking on the stepping stones of past generations. We are the stepping stones to a future generation. Not only should we guard what has been entrusted to us but we must build on it as well. All of us have a stake in seeing that this church is able to faithfully carry on its ministry. That is why we commit our prayers our presence, our gifts, and our service. We are carrying on what Christ initiated two thousand years ago and what the Holy Spirit confirmed within the body of Christ. Think about it.
This Sunday is All Saints Sunday so we will take a break from our Fear of the Other series to honor the Saints of our church who have been transferred from the church militant to the church triumphant. See you in worship this Sunday!