RISING WATERSThe rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.(vs 25)
It is a temptation we all engage in from time to time – browsing the internet and looking for that dream home. I confess up front that I have done it, maybe too often! Why? Because houses are important. We live in houses, bring up our families in houses and even express our architectural preferences in our houses. All of us in this parable are house builders; whether wise or foolish. Just as there is no escaping the building game, there is also no escaping the storm. Every house we build will face a storm. Jesus is not sharing a parable about how to build houses where there are no storms – this is a parable about foundations, not about finding a storm-free climate. Jesus is not telling us, ‘if you just find the best area to live in, all will be well’.
Inner-city Belfast, scarred by 30 years of sectarian violence, knows a thing or two about storms. We have just opened a new £21-million faith-based inner city village called ‘Skainos’. The Greek word skainos, used in John 1:14, literally means ‘to pitch a tent’. This word skainos (tent) is the word used in the New Testament to refer to the tabernacle of God used by Israel in its early worship of God. It symbolised God’s presence. In the Greek New Testament, the word translated ‘tabernacle’ is skainos, ‘the tent’ (Acts 7:44, Hebrews 8:2, 5).
We built a building called Skainos, but the foundation was the Word among us. May that Word guide us in the storms, too.
Prayer † Shield us amidst the storms, God. Found us on your faith. Amen.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) is a fellowship of 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries. Its member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others. WARC has a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.