August 2013

This last year, like many other people I am sure, I have been fascinated by the “falling down house” – the sad tale of Ridgemont House on Oddicombe Cliffs which is gradually disappearing into the sea, along with the cliff beneath it. It is a salutary reminder to really know what you are letting yourself in for – as the owner thought she was getting a wonderful bargain with amazing views but has never been able to live there.

The rock on which it was built looked substantial but the sandstone has been eroding and landslides keep happening. Where once there was a house with a long garden sloping towards the sea, there is now half an house and a cliff edge which could go at any time.

I can’t help thinking about Jesus’ story about the wise man building his house on the rock and the foolish man building on the sand. Here it is lived out in front of us. It is a reminder that appearances can be deceptive too. We should make sure that the foundation on which we build our lives is strong and real and steady. We should build our lives through faith, on Jesus

In Ephesians 2:20-22 Paul talks about how Christ should be the cornerstone of our lives – and that we can be built together to create God’s house. It is expressed beautifully by Eugene Peterson in the Message transliteration of the passage

God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.

If we trust in Jesus, if we put him at the heart and centre of our lives as individuals and as a church, we need not fear slipping or collapsing as in him we can stand firm now – and for generations to come!