Extreme Makeover

"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

1 John 3:2

It's always interesting to me when it happens. And, since I've spent most of my life living in the suburbs, it has happened quite a number of times. Maybe an old building will sit on the corner of an intersection, unnoticed and uninhabited. Then one day it will just be gone. Or maybe a plot of land that was, just yesterday, part of a cow pasture is now a tilled-up square lot. As you drive by, you are startled by the jarring change to something that you have known for years.

Then the construction vehicles show up: excavators and bulldozers, scrapers and dump trucks, cranes and cement trucks. Every day the lot is a flurry of activity. Hills are flattened or created. Holes are drilled. PVC piping shoots upward from the dirt like reeds in a pond. Little orange flags begin to mark out the dimensions of whatever is coming.

And that's the question that's on everyone's mind. As we drive by we all say to ourselves or the person in the car with us, "I wonder what they're putting in right there." And our passenger will just shrug and make that universal "I don't know" grunt. Meanwhile, progress continues.

What everyone's waiting for is a sign. We're waiting for one of those big signs with three, four, or maybe five words. The first two words are always the same: "COMING SOON..." Finally we get to know what all of the hubbub is about. It is revealed to us what business is taking shape right before our eyes. Hopefully, it's not just another Walgreens. Hopefully, it's something I'll like. But the exciting part is waiting to see what it's going to be. (Reading this, it strikes me that we're hurting for entertainment out there in the suburbs.)

Today, I want to suggest that everyone has a sign. Not the kind of sign that that redneck comedian is always talking about, but a different one. A sign that says "coming soon..." Which is just another way of saying that we're all works in progress. We're all changing from what we are now to something else. The apostle Paul says we are all "new creations."

And we can put the same question to ourselves as the one that ask about those corner lots under construction: "What do you think is going in there?" What is coming soon? That's the question for all of us today. What are we becoming? What kind of building are we being made into? God wants to turn you and me into a building that brings glory to him-one that saves our lives in the process. We'll get a better idea of that from scripture this morning.