Saturday after the Second Sunday after Epiphany
Scripture: St. Matthew 7:24-29 (NKJV)
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Following Christ’s doctrine makes one wise for this life and for the life of the world to come. Believing the Gospel and then living according to His Word (by the power of the Holy Ghost) is how we build our house on the established, unmoving rock of Christ, the Word of God Incarnate. This is how we hallow God’s Name, namely that “the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we as the children of God also lead holy lives in accordance with it” (Small Catechism). Living according to Christ’s teachings are the best way to live with our neighbors in our vocations, because it is a life lived in line with the will of God. This godliness has benefits in this life and the next.
On the other hand, if we ignore Christ’s teachings, then we are building our houses on treacherous sand which will sift underneath us during adversity. Sand is any foundation for life other than Christ. This includes the ways of the world, the spirit of our age, popular opinion and convention, and our own sinful desires. This house will not stand.
Christ says that rains will descend, floods will come, and winds will blow and beat on both houses. The rains, floods, and winds are the trials and adversities of life. Those who build their house on the sure foundation of Christ will not be spared trial and suffering. But they will endure it and overcome it, gaining the victory over it by faith in Christ, Who is their foundation and their rock, Who promises to be with them in adversity and work all things for good.