Jesus Christ the Foundation 

1 Cor. 3:5-15                              2.12.23

Dan and I learned the absolute necessity of a strong foundation in a painful way.  The home we bought in Hickory, North Carolina sat at the low point of our block.  It sat on a lot where the builders had deposited trees that were cut down to build the homes and then covered them up with multiple feet of soil.  Our home was built on top of the pile of buried trees in the 70’s.  Over the decades, those trees decomposed, as any tree does.  We were unaware of any of this…but when we were ready to sell that home, an inspector saw jacks in the crawl space which had previously been in place to stabilize parts of the house.  If that was not enough to make us question how the inspector had missed them when we bought the house, apparently the house had shifted so much that some of the jacks had been knocked out of place.  Of course, we had noticed that our living room tilted down, sloping away from the rest of the house. And we had seen a crack in a couple of walls of the brick home.  We learned that our foundation was so unstable that at least 10 large pylons (very large, strong supports) were needed, pylons which had to be drilled down into the earth in order to stabilize the house.  Several of the pylons had to go down 15 feet or more to reach solid rock, and the price was by the foot.  The cost was overwhelming and took away any profit we might have made on the sale. The builder had not built our house upon the rock, but on unstable ground! 

Perhaps you remember the parable Jesus tells in the gospel of Matthew about the importance of building a house on solid ground.  That is what the wise person does.  In contrast, the foolish person builds on unstable ground, or sand, and the house can not withstand rains and winds.  Remember that a parable is a short story with a lesson to be learned.  He was making it clear that we need a solid foundation if we are to expect that we will be able to withstand the torments which blow upon us in life.

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Following Jesus is Commitment

John 1:35-51; Mt. 4:18-22   January 22, 2023

If you are excited about something, you want someone else to get excited about it too.  Think about what excites you about Hunting Ridge Presbyterian.  Do you find a way to share that excitement with someone else?  Sharing excitement was happening in the first chapter of John which we heard this morning.  Jesus was in town; things were happening, and the word was getting out. 

As we read John’s description of the calling of the first four disciples, we keep hearing “Come and see.”  When someone says to you, “come and see”, they have something that is very important to them that they want to share. When two of John’s disciples hear John describe Jesus as “the Lamb of God”, they may not really be clear on what he means by that, but they know enough to pick up that John is showing them who to follow.  The two of them follow Jesus and want to know where he is staying, what he is up to, who he is with.  Jesus says “come and see”.  It seems clear that he has something going on that they need to see for themselves. One of them, Andrew, must have essentially said the same thing to his brother, Simon. “Come and see who we have found—it is the Messiah.” So, Simon comes and sees for himself. Jesus seems to already know him, and gives him a new name, Peter, which means ‘the rock’.  Jesus heads for Galilee, the region where Bethsaida is found, which is the hometown of Andrew and Peter. There Jesus finds Philip, a neighbor of Andrew and Peter.  He tells him:  “follow me”. I think we could see the invitation to follow as saying to Philip: “come and see what is going to happen, how you will change, how the world will change when you follow me, or accompany me on this adventure”.  Philip then says the same thing to Nathaniel, who was skeptical that anything good could come out of Nazareth—“Come and see.  This is the one Moses wrote about, the one the prophets told us would come.  He is Jesus!” 

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