Fifth Day of Advent   18 comments

Above:  Bedrock at Caithness, Scotland

Image Source = Mike Norton

Jesus, Our Rock

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2017

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Isaiah 26:1-6 (Revised English Bible):

On that day this song will be sung in Judah:

We have a strong city

with walls and ramparts built for our safety.

Open the gates!  Let a righteous nation enter,

a nation that keeps faith!

LORD, you keep those of firm purpose

untroubled because of their trust in you.

Trust in the LORD for ever,

for he is an eternal rock.

He has brought low

all who dwell high in a towering city;

he levels it to the ground

and lays it in the dust,

so that the oppressed and the poor

may tread it underfoot.

Psalm 118:19-24 (Revised English Bible):

Open to me the gates of victory;

I shall go in by them and praise the LORD.

This is the gate of the LORD;

the victors will enter through it.

I shall praise you, for you have answered me

and have become my deliverer.

The stone which the builders rejected

has become the main corner-stone.

This is the LORD’s doing;

it is wonderful in our eyes.

This is the day on which the LORD has acted,

a day for us to exult and rejoice.

Matthew 7:21-27 (Revised English Bible):

[Jesus said,]

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do the will of my heavenly Father.  When the day comes, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, when did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will say to them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Out of sight; your deeds are evil!’

So whoever hears these words of mine and acts on them is like a man who had the sense to build his house on rock.  The rain came down, the floods rose, and winds blew, and beat upon that house; but it did not fall, because its foundations were on rock.  And whoever hears these words of mine and does not act on them is like a man who was foolish enough to build his house on sand.  The rain came down, the floods rose, the winds blew and battered against that house; and it fell with a great crash.

When Jesus had finished this discourse the people were amazed at his teaching; unlike their scribes he taught them with a note of authority.

The Collect:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Certain childhood memories tarry.  For me one of these is the collection of Arch Books I had.  Arch Books were small paperback volumes from the Concordia Press.  Each book told one Bible story, mostly with illustrations, as is the style of most volumes for young children.  The Arch Book which I remember most vividly after the passage of time is The House on the Rock.  To this day I recall illustrations depicting the sober-minded man who took enough time to build a house on a rock, as well as a party at the house built on sand.  Alas, the latter gentleman engaged in short-term thinking alone, and his joy was short-lived.

Anyhow, the meaning of the parable is clear:  Jesus is the rock.  We who call ourselves Christians, if we are intellectually honest, build our spiritual houses on the life, teachings, and person of Jesus of Nazareth, maturing in faith over time.  We will not get every detail correct, of course, for we are mere mortals.  Yet we can trust in God, whose grace will empower us to succeed in this endeavor.

One more detail of the Gospel reading stands out in my mind.  Jesus taught with authority.  The usual pattern was for religious teachers to refer to other authorities, such as deceased and revered rabbis.  Yet Jesus taught with authority, and this fact amazed people.  Indeed, he is a worthy rock.

KRT

Written on May 31, 2010

http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/jesus-our-rock/

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18 responses to “Fifth Day of Advent

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