Have you completed your prayer cards that will be included in the foundation of the new building when it is poured? Alice Ann Nilsen and the Holy Hands in Prayer group have championed an inspired effort to have as many prayers as possible be added to the foundation when it is poured hopefully this week.
When I think about the foundation of the church, my mind goes to the prophet Isaiah.
Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
According to Isaiah, God is our bedrock and our foundation from which were hewn. Funny word hewn; we don't use it much these days. The prophet's use of word point to the strenuous effort God has put into the shaping of our faith and our lives. Isaiah's exhortation is contrary to popular notions that faith is a private matter and is really about what I believe. Certainly, faith is personal and much of our faith has an inner resonance which is private. Why does he emphasize hewn and not just say build your faith on God?
Perhaps the answer lies in the action of cutting. When scripture tell of God's relationship with us and ours with God, the Bible uses the language of covenant. To understand God's covenant we do well remember Abraham and Sarah. In fact, that is what Isaiah does in the second verse:
Look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many. -Isaiah 51: 2
The covenant that is the basis of our faith was cut with Abraham using a sacrificial ritual with birds. The covenant the God has cut with us is a sacrifice that God made for us. What great efforts God made in Christ Jesus through his sacrificial love! Remember the rock from which you were cut!
Prayer for Today
Gracious God, help us to remember you are our Rock and our Salvation. Grant us the understanding of how far you went in your love for us, so that we will go the distance in our love for you. Amen.