I have spoken with a number of young people who live in a culture where the "in" thing to do is trade insults, barbs and put-downs as a matter of doing daily life. On the other extreme it seems that people are overly sensitive about anything negative that hurts their feelings. It is a strange time and a difficult balance. How do we, as Christians, speak into this world? For the answer we go to God's Word. Romans 14:19 says, "let us work hard to build one another up." Our children learned this passage last month. For this month there is another passage about building, one that is familiar and foundational to our faith. It is the parable of the wise and foolish builders.
It is not hard to apply this passage to Mother's Day theme. Mothers are builders. They want good for their kids. They want growth for our children. They are building every day so that their children will have lives that are solid ... build on a good foundation.
It is such a blessing to see those foundations stay and stand through the generations. I am excited that we have our own Jackson Blalock playing piano in both services today, something that came from his father (Ryan) but to his father through Ryan's mother. The foundation is something solid, good and natural when a good mother taught and modeled it in her life. And if music is part of that good foundation, how much more is God's word.
Marilyn, Andy. Lee and I went to a conference last weekend. We learned some things about happenings in the Methodist church. The overriding themes of the conference were three things. The first was, we are called to go and tell the Good News of the Gospel to the nations. The Greek word is for nations is the word we get the term ethnic from. Our call is to teach every ethnic group, there are thousands that have never heard, about what Jesus said and did. We are to lead these folks to discipleship.
The second point is that, in the midst of the chaos of decisions, bad leadership and anger, we are to remember our message (declared by the Holy Spirit). We are to lead people to Jesus. Paul said we preach Christ and Christ crucified. That means forgiveness, new life, grace and peace. In Colossians 3 Paul writes, "none of this going off and doing your own thing." We follow a solid leader and a solid message. We can build on this.
The third thing we must remember is that unlike the world, we are founded on the solid foundation of Scripture. God's word may go against what I like, what I feel and what I want to do, but "all other ground is sinking sand." We have something good, right and solid, upon which we can base our decisions and our beliefs. The parable calls us to build upon solid rock ... not things that will wash away when the waves crash in.
My mother gave me some of that foundation, and I am thankful. Some really wise women at this church still speak that kind of wisdom into my life and into my ministry. But Jesus, and the solid rock of God's word, is my rock and foundation. And it is a firm foundation that helps me every day. Do you know Him? Do you know His word? Then come! Learn! Grow! Build! Live!