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Monday, June 29, 2015

Today’s Reading | Matthew 7:24–29

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”

Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. (NRSV)

On a hillside near Capernaum, Jesus punctuated the end of his message with the story reflected in our text. It was a homily beginning with what we now know as the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount. The sermon probably covered many days of preaching.

The people were magnetized by Jesus and his message of love and forgiveness. It seemed they could not get enough of listening to or of spending time with this man. They hung on his every word.

Imagine choosing to listen for several days to a sermon and with no soft pews upon which to sit. God’s creation was their cathedral, the music the birds and the soft rustling air.

Jesus shared the wisdom of living life well as envisioned by our Creator and ended the sermon with a challenge and a choice:

“Hear my words and put them into practice, as the wise man who builds his house securely on a rock, confident it will stand despite any oppressive weather. The other choice is a foolish one, building one’s house on the sand, with the wind and the rains and the storms, and with no resiliency of foundation, causing the house to fall with a great crash.”

It is said “he taught as one who had authority” and whose quiet call is, follow me.

Grant me, Creator God, the wisdom to choose to follow the rock-solid ways Jesus taught in his challenge and to desire to return over and over to the quiet, peace-filled cathedral on the hilltop to seek your truth for my life. Amen.

Written by Ruth Beckman, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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