When we came back from walking the dogs this morning, my husband found a fat spider crawling across the kitchen floor and squashed it. The carcass exploded into hundreds of itsy bitty spiders, which rapidly began to scatter while he ran to fetch the handheld vacuum and suck them up. I walked in on the tail end of this drama. I was glad not to have hundreds of spiders running amok through the house, but also sad at the thought of so much death and destruction. I am a mother myself after all.
I'm preaching tomorrow on the general topic of chaos, and this event was a good prelude to my discussion of the ways that chaos has of crashing unexpectedly into our lives. And a good reminder of the real topic of the sermon, which is that living lives of faith and obedience gives us a life preserver to hold onto when life's storms and inevitable chaos threaten to drown us. At least that's the message I took from Jesus' parable about the wise builder who built on a solid rock foundation by hearing and following Jesus' teachings from the Sermon on the Mount and whose house stood when the rains fell and the floods came and the wind blew.
One of the commentaries I read in preparation said there is an ancient rabbinical parable that also tells of two builders. The wise one knows the Torah and acts upon it, while the foolish one merely knows, but does not act. More is required for faithful living than just hearing the teachings. Life change in response to hearing is the only thing that will give us a solid foundation on which to stand when life's storms come crashing in upon us.
Grace and Peace,