Dear church,

Mary brought home toilet paper yesterday. Twelve fat rolls. Nice. It’s amazing how we take things for granted. Toilet paper is now a thing to be celebrated.

Our Gospel of Matthew reading for today is chapter 7. It’s the last part of the Sermon on the Mount, and I zeroed in on the last little teaching of Jesus – the parable of the man who built his house on the rock/sand (Matthew 7:24-27).

I pictured drilling holes into a large slab of rock that’s been exposed at the surface. Those holes would be where I would insert piers. My house would be fixed to that rock. It almost would be part of  it. That’s the image I had – drilling holes into the rock so that my house could become part of the rock.

Jesus seemed to be telling us to be prepared for storms – the rain, the floods, the winds. Storms will come. The wise man is prepared because he hears and does the words of Jesus. The foolish man hears the words of Jesus but does not do them.

And so that caused me to glance back over Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount – to live out our lives of faith from the heart, not for the sake of appearances; to live for eternity rather than for human riches; to not be anxious by knowing that God remains in control; to not judge others; to pray to our heavenly Father; to follow the Golden Rule; to enter by the “narrow gate”; to be wary of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing; to really know Christ.

We do these things. And when the storms come, we are secure.

How many people today have no sense of security, no sense of peace? Their roof is leaking, and their house is tilting to one side. There’s a great fear of sickness out there right now, and I suppose that’s warranted if this earthly life is all there is. As Christians, we can say something else. We protest that kind of thinking. Eternity stands in front of us.

And there we are again, drilling holes in the rock. And some people may have said to us in the past, “What are you doing? That’s an impossible task. It’s easier over here on the sand.” And we would say that we are building wisely. And we know that it’s an impossible task, but we have help. And we also know that the storms will come.

And in this “storm,” we are unaffected. Yes, our daily lives may have changed dramatically. The streets are terribly empty. And the government is commanding us to stay home. And everything is just logistically more difficult. But in real and deep ways – in the only ways that really matter – our lives are unaffected. We are as secure today as ever.

It’s a blessing to be able to stand in the rain and floods and winds. We are unmoved because of our Rock. He’s the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And his promises are good for eternity. And we can share that message with those around us who don’t have that kind of foundation, those who are worried, those who are lashing out in fear. We have good news to share as we stand strong.

That’s it for today. May God bless you. Don’t take for granted the fact that your foundation is a firm one!

Chris

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