Building on the Seashore
Oct 4, 2013 1978
Here’s a photo of an amazing sandcastle built on the beach at St Helier in Jersey. I wonder how long it took to make? It really is impressive. There is one problem with it. It’s not going to last. That’s OK, I guess. There are things in life that aren’t meant to last. Like ice cream, rainbows… and sandcastles built on the shore.
But there are things in life that you wish would last forever. Like real love, true beauty… and let’s face it, you yourself. You want to be able to stand the tides and the waves and the storms that you know will come. Jesus illustrated this with this story,
“Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It didn’t fall because it was firmly set on bedrock. But everybody who hears these words of mine and doesn’t put them into practice will be like a fool who built a house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It fell and was completely destroyed.” (Matthew 24:24–27.)
I know that some of you understand what Jesus said, because you have had your house destroyed by storm or flood. Many of us haven’t.
Jesus didn’t really live on the seashore. The Sea of Galilee is a lake, and not subject to tides like the ocean. But I kind of think that if Jesus had grown up in Australia, near the sea, like I did; if Jesus had built sandcastles, perhaps his illustration would have been about sandcastles instead.
How many people in this world spend our lives building things that will not last? Things like big houses, big cars, businesses, reputations, image? But Jesus tells us to build on bedrock – the things that will last forever. That’s why he tells us to listen to his words and put them into practice.
Jesus is the bedrock. The gospel is his word to us about what he has done to make sure that we, and all those things that are truly good in our lives, will last forever with him in joy and peace. It tells us how by putting faith to work that can be a reality in our lives.
Yes, sandcastles are pretty impressive. But what Jesus has built for your is even more impressive. Don’t listen to the weekend sandcastle builders; their work will fade away. But the work of the Lord stands forever.