Sundays after Pentecost
6:9-22; 7:24; 8:14-19
Deuteronomy 11:18-21, 26-28
|Noah and the flood
Making God's Word a part of ourselves
|110: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
388: O Come, and Dwell in Me
420: Breathe on Me, Breath of God
Psalm 31:1-5, 19-24
|God, our refuge||153: Thou Hidden Source of Calm
479: Jesus, Lover of My Soul
|Matthew 7:21-29||Salvation for those who do the Lord's will||169: In Thee Is Gladness
368: My Hope Is Built
|Romans 1:16-17; 3:22b-28, (29-31)||Righteousness by faith||58: Glory to God, and Praise and
363: And Can It Be that I Should Gain
Several years ago I went camping with my son and his scouting group. Things have certainly changed since I was a scout! I remember canvas tents, steel stakes, wooden poles, and enough ropes to make you learn your knots whether you wanted to or not. If you did it right, the tent stayed up, no matter how bad the weather got. If you did it wrong, the tent fell under its own weight--no matter how good the weather stayed!
The tents on this trip were all light weight nylon. They had fiberglass rods that would "spring" them into shape. Although they came with stakes, they could stand up without a single stake in the ground. Several of the boys assembled their tents and then carried them to the place they wanted to sleep.
It was a breezy day and the nearby trees were waving in the wind. One group of tents was set away from the trees in the middle of a clearing. Sometimes a small whirlwind would swirl a column of dust, grass, and leaves into the air. A particularly large whirlwind crossed the clearing near the tents. It was large enough to capture the attention of several scouts. Suddenly, one of the tents on the edge of the camp rose up into the whirlwind and was moved 40 or 50 feet through the air. When it came down the boys ran after it, laughing and anxious to see how the gear inside had been "rearranged." No one was hurt and nothing was damaged, but the boys still tell the story today and the details continue to become more incredible. The last time I heard it, the tent had been lifted 150 feet up and had moved at least two or three football fields!
Never mentioned, though, are the tents that did not move. The ones that stayed on the ground where they belonged. You see, the rest of the tents had been staked to the ground. The anchors held fast. The one that flew had been set without any stakes. It had no achor at all.
This week's featured hymn was written by Edward Mote (1797-1874). He prepared the lines of the refrain first, and made short work of preparing several verses. A few days later, he shared them when visiting with a friend whose wife was ill and near death. The friend wanted to sing a hymn but could not find his hymnal. Mote had these new verses in his pocket and used them. The woman enjoyed the hymn, and Mote's friend asked for a copy. With her condition in mind, Mote completed the final verses of the hymn. Inspired by the appreciation of the woman, Mote sent many copies out for publication. Unfortunately, several were published without acknowledgement of the source. As a result, there was confusion concerning authorship for several years.
The story of the scouts is light hearted. The story of the hymn is much more somber. But both stories point out the need for a solid anchor. In our spiritual walk, that anchor is Christ Himself. Consider what anchor you rely on as you read the words of this hymn:
|1. My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
|2. When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
|3. His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.
|4. When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne!
May we all sing joyfully of Christ the solid rock, where our anchor is steadfast and sure.
God bless you--
God bless you!
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|