Sunday Sermon: Building on the Rock / by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

Today I had the privilege of preaching at the Wanaque Reformed Church again. I serve there as occasional pulpit supply as they search for their next pastor. They are a small, but warm congregation who love Jesus. It is always a pleasure to be with them. I am always humbled and take seriously when God grants me opportunity to preach. Plus, their coffee hour rocks! 

Joyce and I taunting my colleague (who also does pulpit supply at Wanaque) Rev. Herb Thomas who loves Apple Cider Donuts.  

Joyce and I taunting my colleague (who also does pulpit supply at Wanaque) Rev. Herb Thomas who loves Apple Cider Donuts.  

I forgot to record the message today (sorry Mom), but the title was “Building on the Rock” taken from Matthew 7:24-27:

““Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”” (Matthew‬ ‭7:24-27‬ ‭NRSV)‬‬

Instead of my usual three point sermon, my sermon had three stories, two common threads, and one point. I shared three stories: The Three Little Pigs, an article from The NY Times I read this week about a house still standing on Mexico Beach Florida after Hurricane Michael, and the parable that Jesus told to the crowd gathered at the mountain near the Sea of Galilee. I expounded on the two common threads: the reality of storms and the importance of a firm foundation. And the main point was this: When our lives are built on the strong foundations of the Word made Flesh (Jesus) and the Word of God we can withstand any and everything that comes our way. It was a simple message, but I believe sometimes we need to go back to basics. And Bob, who puts the liturgy together made sure that “The Solid Rock” was the sermonic hymn. It all came together wonderfully. 

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Here is an excerpt from the message:

But the wise one built his house on the rock. And be clear, in this text, wisdom isn't a matter of intellect, but of insight. In the climate in which Jesus was teaching, the crowd around him was familiar with the seasons and their implications. They would have known that a house built during dry season—when not a drop of rain falls or a hint of moisture is in the air—seems secure until the storm comes. Building on rock takes into account the present and the future. Building on rock is costly. It might take some time. Building on rock isn’t popular. Those who build on rock are choosing a life of trust in God. Those who build on rock say, “Come hell or high water, I will trust in the Lord with all mine heart and lean not to my own understanding.