I’m reading through Matthew’s gospel at the moment and today have reached the part where Jesus talks about building on a rock. Yes, I can’t escape the building theme in any part of my everyday life, it seems! What I found particularly interesting was reading these very familiar verses (especially in our church, since we sing the children’s song about this quite often!) in a different version to normal:
“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
“But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.” (Matt 7:24-27, The Message)
The idea of ‘homeowner improvements to your standards of living’ compared to ‘foundational words’ was striking to me, especially in a country where DIY is apparently so popular. (You only have to visit a DIY store on a Bank Holiday to appreciate the hold it has on the country!!) So much of what we’ve been doing at St Mark’s has been foundational. We haven’t just ‘touched things up’ or painted over cracks; we’ve had to get back to basics. There has been plenty of tearing down as well as of building up.
I also liked the idea of working Jesus’s words into our lives, so that we live out what we believe. As with anything, if we get the foundations right, it makes life so much easier in the long run.