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Friday, September 25, 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)

As I begin taking on my new role as Interim Director of Adult Education this year, I can think back to the numerous times of having heard the Sermon on the Mount preached, referred to, or taught both here at Fourth Presbyterian Church, in seminary, and in the churches of my past. One of the major tenets of the Reformed tradition is salvation, or justification, by grace through faith alone, or what is referred to as the doctrine of sola fide. I am continually interested in God’s place in each individual believer’s life, where people seek God and where people find God, and how the grace of God can live and breathe in and through all people.

Jesus ends his sermon with a parable-like story by expressing how important a foundational faith truly is. This passage is a prime example of why faith formation is so important in the church. What does it mean to “hear” God’s word and to ”act” on God’s word in your life? What does your foundational faith life look like, and how might others benefit from knowing more about your faith and you about theirs? What about our faith tradition makes it a house built on a rock, or a house built on the sand?

Adult education classes are a great place to discuss biblical passages just like this one, a place to ask questions, a place to experience the faith life of other members and guests who sit around us every Sunday. The Reformed tradition not only promotes dialogue and questioning; it demands it. A large part of keeping with the tradition of building a house on rock is this process of sharing our faith with one another. Come out and share your faith with others, and join a class this year!

Gracious God, we give thanks for your persistent ever-presence in our lives! Amen.

Written by Mark Eldred, Worship Coordinator and Interim Director of Adult Education

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