Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church—June 23, 2016
I will be heading off on vacation in just a few days, to spend some time in my house in northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s an old farmhouse in three sections, dating from early and mid- 19th century and early 20th century. There is one section that has a basement with a stone floor, but the rest is crawlspace. The foundation is stone. I like to think it is a firm foundation, for the integrity of the house structure depends on it being so, but I know that this requires periodic inspection and attention when needed. The foundation is very important. The same is true for our faith. We need a solid foundation in order to weather the many storms and challenges that come our way throughout our lives. These foundations, too, benefit from periodic inspection and attention where needed. We sing “Christ is made the sure foundation, Christ the head and cornerstone...” It is a good thing to remember. We also sing, “The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is his new creation by water and the word...” You can find the hymn in the Hymnal 1982, #525.
In the Old Testament reading for this coming Sunday, we read the story of the passing of the mantle from the prophet Elijah to the prophet Elisha (long ‘i’, as if it were written e-lye-sha). Elijah knows he is departing, and tries to send Elisha away, but Ellisha won’t abandon him. Elijah finally gives in and asks, “What do you want from me?” Elisha answers, “A double portion of your Spirit.”
Not power, not favor, not wealth – Spirit. And that is what happens. Elisha goes on to share and expand on the solid foundation of faith and service he received from Elijah, all in the name of God.
There is a great deal more to the story, much of it quite dramatic. You can read it all here: 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14.
Jesus Christ, along with the teachings of the apostles and prophets, is the foundation for our faith, and when we build our lives on the example of Jesus’ life and teachings, we have a sure foundation indeed. Our faith life needs prayerful attention in order to grow and thrive. It also needs rest and recreation. So I am off for a few weeks to rejoice in God’s creation in familiar and also new ways and places.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Peace and blessing, Carol+