Pastor Scott Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church, Amhert, NY
Where do we turn in times of trouble? Where do we place our trust?
In the wake of death?
Through the weeks and months of unemployment?
When we find out a loved one has cancer?
When the people we trust let us down?
When Mother Nature strikes again with floods, quakes and storms?
In scripture Jesus tells a parable about building homes. He said there were two builders – one who built his house on sand and one who built his house on rock. When a storm arrives the house built on sand falls down while the house built on rock stands firm. Using that parable, Jesus teaches his disciples, then and now, a lesson about where to place our trust in this life. Do not build on sinking sand.
At times I know I build my life on sinking sand. I place my trust in a government that barely functions and sometimes doesn’t function at all. I place my trust in my retirement accounts and perceived job security. At times I think natural disasters are a world away and all these tragedies that keep happening couldn’t possibly happen here. Even as I write it now I know it seems crazy, but I can’t seem to help myself. Sometimes I place my trust on sinking sand.
Today, Jesus invites me and you to build our lives on rock. In this shaky and unsteady world, God invites us to place our trust in that which remains constant… God’s love, God’s grace, God’s word. Like a builder who sets out to build his home on rock we are called to take care that we build our lives on a firm foundation.
I’m a Lutheran pastor so I don’t have a ton of Bible passages memorized. But there is at least one Psalm which I know by heart: Psalm 46. I read it in the hospital and at funerals. We read it in church when tragedy strikes and at meetings when all of our plans go awry. I want to share it with you now with the hope that anyone whose life seems shaky might hear God’s invitation to place your trust in Him.
God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change
And the mountains shake in the depths of the sea.
Though its waters rage and foam and the sea tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy habitation of the most high.
God is in the midst of the city. It shall not be shaken.
God shall help it at the break of day.
Nations rage. Kingdoms shake.
God speaks and the earth melts away.
The Lord of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
In the Way,