Having just completed a major building project, I am freshly aware of all that went into the
construction that is now covered up. Most visitors to our David M. Rogers Hall of Mission will
see the painted walls, the global elements on display, art and the engaging interaction of faculty,
staff, students and visitors. But underneath and all around them are those huge metal beams
set on footings below the surface of the ground. Footings of concrete and rebar. We are ready
not only for teaching and learning but also for earthquakes and storms.
Jesus told a simple story about two men who built houses, one on “a rock” and the other on
sand. Bedrock in the Middle East has for centuries been the ultimate foundation for buildings.
You can dig through layers of urban life on mounds called “tells” and find evidence of a
relentless effort across millennia to build on rock. Bedrock brings stability, permanence,
Not surprisingly, the most common metaphor for God in the Psalms is Rock. He is also Fortress
and Refuge. One word for refuge is metsuda – the name of the famous rock outcropping we call
Masada. It is only God and His Word that endures. Its benefits are often felt but not seen, as in
our building. We either live with strong spiritual footings in a world of storms (the only world
there is), or we live in a shelter that lasts only until the major storms come. No rebar, no
concrete, nothing underneath. Brief bursts of success. Fleeting signs of permanence. But then
the house goes down. We’ve seen a tsunami take out vast residential areas in Asia. We’ve seen
urban areas crumble with earthquakes in Turkey and Haiti.
We’ve also seen great leaders go down. Lives built around power, sex or money.
How many of us are ready to face storms that may be stronger than we’ve ever felt before? The
time to put in the foundation is before the storms comes. They come without warning.