1st Week of Advent
Isaiah 26:1-6;Matthew 7:21, 24-27; Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27
The Lord is an eternal Rock. (Isaiah 26:4)
Near the southern tip of Spain, the British-owned Rock of Gibraltar looms over the strait connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. Over its history of siege and war, it has earned a reputation as a stalwart fortress. Its stony visage appears impervious to forces of change. But it’s really not. The rock is slowly being eroded by the wind and water it seems to dominate.
Some would say that this image of a long-standing fortress undergoing erosion could apply to the society we live in today. Over the years, we have all seen changes in our culture’s value system. Some have been for the better, like a greater emphasis on caring for the earth and a greater commitment to worker safety and child-labor laws. Other changes, however, have not been improvements. Issues like the sanctity of life and the values inherent in the traditional family structure have been eroding, weakening our foundations and threatening the whole structure.
When we think about this process of erosion, we can respond in one of two ways. We can become angry and discouraged. But that only leads to a sense of hopelessness and keeps us from acting. Or we can take our cue from the prophet Isaiah: Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock. He is the one Rock that will never crumble. He is the one foundation that will never fail. As the old hymn goes:
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that Rock I’m clinging
Since Love is Lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?
But there’s more here. God also wants you to become a “rock” yourself: in your family, at work, and in your neighborhood. You can help stem the tide! Just spend time with him every day, and you will become stronger and stronger, a refuge of truth and hope for everyone around you.
“Lord, your love is an eternal refuge for me. Fortify me so that I may be a refuge for others.”~wau