You have heard it said in some form or fashion, “Do it right the first time.” In fact, there are various quotes that use this phrase to stress quality or time management. There is much wisdom in that statement. If you are going to build yourself a house, of course you want it done right the first time because you know that it will take more money and more effort to fix what wasn’t done right. How many times in your life have you built something and you found yourself doing it over again. And you wonder, “Did I do all of that for nothing?”

King Solomon wrote in Psalm 127:1, Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Solomon, in this psalm, is no doubt is referring to the building of the temple. But he also talks about the city of Jerusalem and those who keep watch. He also talks about his family and the blessings of children. And his point: if the Lord is not the builder, the foundation, not the focus, not the center of it all, then it all comes to nothing.

He experienced it in his own life. He saw the idol temples surrounding Israel and their worthlessness. He understood the problems that came with having pagan wives. He knew that the building of temple was not about him or to his glory but about the Lord. If the Lord and his Word were vacant, that building too would come to nothing.

Five hundred years ago something great was being built, or built upon. It wasn’t in Jerusalem but in Wittenberg, Germany. It was a foundation already laid, a treasure found again. It was the message of the Gospel; the world was saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone. It was the heart of the reformation when Martin Luther invited others to a scholarly debate over the practice of indulgences. If the Lord had not been a part of this Gospel revival, it would have come to nothing. Yet five hundred years later we celebrate the legacy of sola scriptura, sola gratia and sola fide and the house of believers being built upon the foundation that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

Seventy five years ago, our congregation starting a building project. (By the way, we are still celebrating that anniversary.) If the Lord and his Word were not the foundation, if the Lord was not the builder, then it too would have come to nothing. But here we are asking the Lord to bless yet another building project.

Later in this month of October, Lord willing, we will begin to build and expand the Lord’s Gospel ministry here at First Lutheran to add on First Steps Early Learning Center. If the goal or purpose is to be babysitters then this building comes to nothing. We build in vain. But if the Lord is the foundation and his Word is present, if we hold to our mission to create a place where children will Learn and Grow in Christ, then we do not build in vain. Whether this ELC ministry lasts 5 years, 75, or 500 years, it will not be in vain if we are building on the Lord. Each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:10,11

With every building project there is human error and things can go wrong. But I know we have a great team that is going to its best so that the building of the First Steps Early Center is built with minimal error and is built with the best quality materials. They are doing it right the first time. But without a doubt, I can assure you of this, if the Lord builds the “house” we do not build in vain.

Keep Christ First,

Pastor Chris Christenson


Under Construction - First Steps Early Learning Center

First Steps Early Learning Center will soon be under construction. The Building Committee is planning to the construction to start the last week of October. During the beginning of construction the main entrance to the building will be used primarily for those who need to use the elevator. The door on the Main Street sidewalk will be the best entrance for worship and midweek activities. The door at the back of the church will be the primary entrance and exist for the child care center. Please be patient. It is a necessary inconvenience during the building project.