Allison and I love to go to the beach. When our children were younger, we had many family vacations somewhere along the shoreline where the waves crash and the sand is plentiful. During these times, it would not be unusual to spend a lot of time with the children creating what they would think was a castle, a fort, or some interesting sand-structure. It would never fail that when the tide came in each day, the sand creation would be washed away by the water and the waves.
At the end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7, Jesus uses a similar illustration to discuss putting into practice the words He shared. He says it this way:
Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew against that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the wind blew against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
This is a straight-forward teaching about the benefits of doing what the Lord asks, and the devastation of not doing what He asks. Both houses would have looked the same; it was only when the storms came that one could tell a difference.
Too many modern Christians are building their lives on the wrong foundation. It is not Jesus Christ and His Word, but the latest fad, latest worship song, or latest book about prayer. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?’” Jesus asks us all in Luke 6:46.
As the Anglican Church in North America, we are committed to building our foundation on the rock – Jesus Christ and his Word, or as the Apostle Paul wrote, “on the sure foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the sure cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). This is why we have spent time developing and revising our Catechism, To Be a Christian, producing a new Book of Common Prayer (scheduled to be released in 2019), and releasing a holistic Sunday and Daily Lectionary. This is why we spend so much time encouraging and equipping folks to plant churches, share the Gospel, and make disciples. This is why we are attempting to empower congregations to create ministries to the least and the lost in their communities. And this is why we support and encourage Biblical Anglicans around the globe. For unless we are building this Province on the rock, it will falter when the cultural storms and floods come our way.
None of this matters if we are not building our individual lives upon God’s Word and following Jesus as our Lord and Savior. “Upon Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America