In Albury-Wodonga, the weekly free newspapers used to include a column of reflections. They were written by local ministers, or similar (authors included a local Baha’i leader, as well as someone from the local humanist society branch). I don’t know why they stopped. Equally, I don’t know if they achieved anything!
Cleaning up my computer, I found a few of mine. In the interests of recycling, I will re-release them on this blog.
We just finished a two week family holiday on the coast. What a great time to relax and see the wonders along the Great Ocean Road. It was my first time atop the limestone cliffs and looking to the Twelve Apostles.
The whole view is magnificent, huge, powerful and awe-inspiring. Much of the coastline looks impregnable and unshakeable.
So today’s newspaper gave me quite a surprise. One of the ‘apostles’ collapsed into the sea. What was a towering presence of strength is now a wave-beaten pile of rubble. If I was there, I could have watched it collapse. How great was its fall!
It’s common that life reminds us that what looks permanent is only temporary.
Years of good health can quickly pass into chronic illness. A stable relationship suddenly ends when a loved friend dies, or even over a trivial argument.
It is worse when our world tries to hide any hints of future collapse. As certain as death is, we don’t start conversations with “So, who is prepared for death?” We have to admit it: our foundations are not so permanent after all.
There is no surprise in one Bible image for God: he is the rock that cannot be shaken. “He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Psalm 62:2.) What joy – we can build on a firm foundation.
Jesus offers us this foundation. And at the same time he warns about building on shifting sand. He said, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall.”
Coastal cliffs are wonderful. But they will all fall. Jesus and his words are even more wonderful, for he will never fail us.
Jesus’ invitation is open to all of us: to trust him and to trust his words of life.