The Solid Foundation

If you have ever watched a house being built, you know that the first order of business, after the hole is dug, is to set the foundation. In our part of the country, that foundation is usually a course of bricks set one on top of the other to create a solid foundation for the wooden structure that will be the frame of the home. Here in Minnesota, we sometimes retreat to that lower level of the home and the protection of that foundation when tornadoes or thunderstorms cross our path.

In our gospel this weekend, Jesus refers to Peter as the rock.   Peter is the foundation upon which Jesus built the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Jesus knew he would need a rock-solid foundation upon which to build his Church. Jesus knew that the winds would blow, earthquakes would shake and the evil of the world would press in upon the Church. The Church has suffered much in the two thousand years since Jesus founded her. Jesus promised that the Church he founded would still be standing long after he left this earth. In fact, Jesus gives us a guarantee when he says, “…and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” This has been true for over two thousand years, and it continues to be a truth we can hold on to today.

I don’t know about you, but I get a little discouraged at times. I read stories in the news about the evil that pervades so much of our society. I read the predictions of the end of the world that seem to flood the news media when things begin to look bleak. It is easy for you and me to get caught up in all the hoopla and propaganda that comes our way these days.

This weekend, Jesus reminds us that he built the Church on the rock-solid foundation of the faith of the apostles. Bad weather will come, and, at times, things may seem pretty dark in this world. We can hold on to Jesus’ promise to lead us through these challenges, by our participation in the Church that he founded on this earth. It is here, in the gathering of believers, that we will find the strength we need to surmount our worries and fears.

I just returned from a week up north with my family. We rented a spacious cabin at a wonderful resort. All of our adult children were with us, except for our oldest son, who lives out of state. The great blessing for Anne and me was to have our six grandchildren with us for the week. With three recent arrivals, we all had a special time assisting in the care of the babies. I personally logged several hours of baby-holding, so the parents could get a little break and enjoy the amenities.

I reflected this week on what a blessing it is to hold a sleeping infant. There is something so sweet, innocent and peaceful about a sleeping baby. I reflected on how busy my life is, at times. Each week brings another list of things to do and the worries that come with trying to get everything done. It is a natural inclination for me to be “doing” something; it is a challenge for me to be “still.” God is teaching me to slow down a little. My own recent health issues and this week away with our family have helped me see the need to be still and to just open my eyes to the presence of God in every moment of the day.

I reflected on one of my favorite psalms one afternoon, when I volunteered for baby duty. The girls were off shopping and the boys had gone golfing. Psalm 131 is a beautiful meditation on the quiet trust in God, which uses the image of a child at the mother’s breast:

“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother’s breast;

Like a child that is quieted is my soul. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.”

We can trust that God has built a solid foundation for us, one that will not crumble or decay despite the storms of this world. At the end of a stressful day, it is good to place ourselves in the strong and sheltering arms of our loving Father. He will quiet and still our restless hearts and help us remember that we are his precious children.

In Christ,

Deacon Tim

 

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