Wine Before Breakfast, 7:22am
Wycliffe College Chapel, 5 Hoskin Ave.
Sand or Rock?
If you are going to talk about building something … a kingdom no less … then you are going to have to talk about foundations.
And really the Sermon on the Mount has been about the foundation all along.
A most unlikely foundation for something as imperial sounding as a kingdom:
built on the foundation of the poor in spirit, not the rich in power,
those who mourn, not those who have it all together,
the meek, not the controlling,
those who hunger for justice, not for wealth,
the pure in heart, not the double-dealing backroom boys,
the peacemakers, not the war-mongers,
those who are reviled and persecuted, the bottom of the bottom.
That’s the foundation for this kingdom that Jesus is talking about.
Who would have thought that these folks would be the salt of the earth and the light of the world?
And that was only the beginning.
Throughout the sermon Jesus continues to lay out the most radical foundations for the kingdom of God. And it is no wonder that the church has effectively dismissed all of this as idealistic dreams or something for a later time, not today.
And right near the end of it all he says, “Beware of false prophets.” And they won’t come from the State Department or the Prime Minister’s Office (though there are lots of false prophets there!). No, these false prophets will be ones who say, “Lord, Lord.” These are people who will go by the name of Jesus and live in Jesusland.
Pray that we not be counted in their company.
Pray that we not build our houses, build our lives, build our reputations, build our hopes and aspirations on sand.
That is the kingdom that the church has always preferred. A built-on-sand kingdom because it thought that the rock was orthodox belief, but Jesus tells them it is orthodox practice.
If you hear my word but do not do it, then you have no part of me. You say, “Lord, Lord,” but your house is built on sand. Well ordered, liturgically correct, theological eloquent sand, but sand nonetheless.
So for eleven weeks now we’ve been listening to the Master Builder, we’ve been watching him lay the foundations. And as we come to the end of our time sitting on the mountain with Jesus we probably find ourselves with the crowd that sat there so long ago: “the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.”
If we haven’t picked up that radical authority and we don’t find ourselves astounded by what we have just heard from Jesus, then … well, then we didn’t get it.
I entered into this time on the mountain with some fear. This guy scares me. He still scares me. But I want to follow. I want to build on the rock.
I hope you do too.
Chris Dow brings our series to a close with a sermon on the send of the Sermon on the Mount.
Judith Alltree will break the bread.
The bandhood will minister to us.
And we’ll see about building on the rock.
All sand-dwellers welcome.
Wine Before Breakfast
Tuesday @ 7.22am