Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Built Upon the Rock by Amy Gardine

You do remember that song from childhood, right? The one where the wise man builds his house upon the rock and the foolish man builds his house upon the sand? Then (in my favorite part of the song) the rains come down and the floods come up, and the house on the sand goes “SPLAT”! Ohhh…. as a child I used to adore that “splat” at the end! And I must admit, I have been humming that song this whole week! Mostly because I have had to think deeply and intentionally about this passage – not only having Christ as our chief cornerstone, but also having a true and unwavering faith, just as Simon Peter did.

I must say that I have always thought I understood this particular passage, but as I looked deeper into it, I began to wonder about the final verse in Matthew’s passage. Jesus sternly orders the disciples NOT to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. It seems like such a hard request. By this point in our study, the righteous have entered through the gates and the faithful have become the rocks on which the church will be built! So, why keep that a secret? Is that our call? Is that what we, as disciples, are to do? Keep it all hush-hush?

After looking more closely at the passage, I think I started to see why the disciples were to keep the Messiah so anonymous. I think that Jesus knew exactly what would happen if the revelation of his divinity came from a third party. It would be the same thing that happens when we - as humans – reveal something as a third party in our day and age. Misinformation! It is true! These men would have gone forward with information that was skewed by personal perceptions and understandings. I think that Christ understood fully that in God’s time all would be revealed. When that revelation came to light, all the world would be shaken to the foundation, leaving His cornerstone on which all else would be built. Patience and faith. These two never seem too far apart in these gospels OR in the pursuit of a missional church.

So, back to the sand. Are we ready to build? Do we have the proper ground? I believe we are ready to build and do have the proper foundation. We are called to be builders of a congregation that can withstand the storms, floods, and shifts of culture. And, most importantly, we are called to share God’s grace and love. However, we are called to first listen and wait for the revelation of God’s will. Only then, we will gain a mission built in and of God’s grace and vision.

Questions for Reflection:
• What is this Vision calling you to become?
• What images used in this Vision are familiar to you; What elements are unfamiliar?
• In what respects does this Vision call us together to greater faith and courage than what is commonly expressed in our congregation.
• What difference do you hope this Vision will make in the life of our congregation?

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