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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Today’s Reading | Luke 6:46–49

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.” (NRSV)

I’ve never built a house. Heck, I’ve never even owned a house. House-building is one of those things I regard as out of my reach, a platform of adulthood I will never reach. I mostly feel like this when I’m sweating through Ikea furniture assembly. I’m certain people who build houses don’t tinker with dressers and bookcases called “Hemnes” and “Besta.”

Even so, these words of Jesus that close out his “Sermon on the Plain” resonate with me. They’re all about action. The person who acts on Jesus’ teaching is like one who builds on a solid foundation. The person who hears and does nothing is like a shoddy builder whose work will get washed away.

What about that teaching, then? How do you act on “Blessed are you who are poor?” What steps do you take in response to “Love your enemies?” How does “Turn the other cheek” issue in observable actions?

The old dichotomy between “belief” and “works” is not one Jesus makes, at least not here. For Jesus, our action is scaffolding for our belief, infrastructure without which faith won’t endure.


Help us to act our way to belief, O God, or to believe our way into action. For the sake of Jesus and the reign he is initiating. Amen.

Written by Rocky Supinger, Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry

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