December 6, 2012 - Thursday of the First Week of Advent

Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

We could just nod along with our Lord’s analogy today, taking the general idea, not searching for the wisdom that our Lord wants to give us, but how much better it is to look deeper and understand the meaning of the image that our Lord gives us!

Both men in the analogy today see the storm coming. Both men are philosophers. The storm is inevitable, wherever you build your house. The wind, the waves, and the rain are on their way. Both men know this, which is why they are building their houses. We live in a stormy world. Jesus does not say that if we do as he says then the storms will not come. Christians do not suffer less in this world than other people. Christians have the same storms in their lives as anyone else does, but we have rock solid foundation that will stand up to the storm.

Both men in the analogy today build their houses against the storm. I have never built a house, but I can easily imagine that it is a complicated and arduous task. It is not the work of a single day. This fact stresses the foolishness of the fool; he has expended great effort and cost to no purpose. They both see the great destroyer, death, approaching, so they build. What house can be built against death? Many can be built but only one will stand. Every philosophy has tried to build something which cannot be conquered by death, whether meaning or pleasures or knowledge. Only the fullness of truth, however, will stand up to the storm when it comes. Every effort which is founded on partial truths and shifting opinions will show itself weak in the end.

It will be insufficient, when the storm arrives, to have built a great house unless it sits on the true foundation. It will be insufficient, when the waves come crashing, to fight them with whatever seemed right to me at the time. God has come to Earth and revealed what is required to stand, revealed a truth that can serve as a rock-solid foundation. Any effort on our part, even one combining all our skill, intelligence, being, strength, and every good intention, will be as useless as no effort, unless it is founded on the truth as revealed to us by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior.