Posts Tagged ‘Building on a Rock Foundation’

Building On The Rock

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Thursday of First Week of Advent

Is 26: 1-6; Mt. 7: 21, 24-27

By Deacon Larry Brockman

So, it’s all about doing the will of the Father.  That’s what it takes to enter everlasting life in the Kingdom of God.  

But how do we know what the will of the Father is for you?  Well, you’re in luck, because both our readings help us with that today.  First there’s Isaiah who says two things:  That we need to dwell in a strong city; one with walls and ramparts to protect us.  And the “us” he refers to are those who keep faith and are just.  Then he says:  “Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock.”     

Jesus says basically the same thing:  We are to build our houses on rock, not sand.  Each of us is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Each of us needs to build a strong dwelling place for our immortal soul that is housed in our body.  But our physical self, our bodies, need a strong foundation.  And that foundation is the teaching of almighty God.

 As both readings imply, the Lord is a rock.  His truth is absolute, immutable, firm, fixed; it doesn’t depend.    One of the most serious errors of our time is the tendency to flirt with relativism.  People who flirt with relativism do think “it depends”.  They think it depends on the times; it depends on the circumstances; it depends on the individual.  But our Church, the rock upon which Jesus entrusted his teaching, says otherwise.  Our Church teaches that the truth is unchanging.  Circumstances and the times may affect our culpability in a given situation, but they don’t change the truth.

Now the Gospel contains some interesting metaphors that build on this idea of a rock sound foundation, and the consequences of not building our abode on a rock sound foundation.  First, there is the contrast between rock and sand itself.  Rock doesn’t move; sand drifts this way and that.  It seems to me that this analogy alone is enough to tell us that God’s laws; his revelations, and the nature of God himself are fixed, and that we ought not drift around from one concept to another.    The world is full of folks today who hold a sort of pluralistic world view.  It’s a given that all trains of thought in the world seem so close at hand these days with air travel, instant radio and TV and the Internet.  And so various people of faith intermingle and move around amongst each other in all parts of the world.

So some folks rationalize that God wouldn’t just reveal himself to Christians; but that he has revealed himself to Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems, Taoists, etc.  Perhaps he has; but not with the same fidelity.  Either we believe that the rock of the ages is Jesus Christ; and that no other foundation has the same ring of fidelity to it- or not.  Our foundation simply must be Christian; not a watered down pluralistic compromise that drifts around depending upon which previously remote alternate religion now dwells among us.  This is not to say that we shouldn’t and can’t tolerate and live peaceably with these other faiths.  We do that out of love of all of God’s creation.  That’s how we evangelize these others.  But we must always be focused on the rock of the ages and his teaching- that’s how we must live our lives.

The other two interesting metaphors are the wind and the rain.  We routinely associate the spirit with the word “wind”.  Recall that Jesus breathed upon the Apostles to instill the Spirit within them.  But there are evil spirits as well.  The “wind” of these evil spirits blows from all directions, and is aimed at instilling doubt and moving us away from our foundation. 

And then there is the rain and flood.  Rain can be anything from a long term, constant drizzle to a short term overwhelming deluge and flood.   Drizzle is like the effect of the media in today’s society.  The secular media is full of misinformation, pornography, hate and intolerance, and anti-Christian alternatives.  After constant exposure to it we become desensitized and our houses will shift if we don’t have the right foundation. 

A deluge would be something like the rapid fire acceptance of gay marriage and euthanasia in today’s society.  If we don’t focus on the truth, we could be swept away in these deluges, which fail to recognize God’s teaching.

Our best defenses to the wind and rain are knowledge of our Faith and constant contact with the Holy Spirit in a regular and vivid prayer life. 

Yes, it’s all about the will of the Father.  And the will of the Father is that we build our houses on a firm foundation of Faith and Christian Morals.