Thursday, December 1, 2016

Reflection for Thursday, December 1, 2016

First Thursday of Advent
IS 26:1-6
PS 118:1 AND 8-9, 19-21, 25-27A
MT 7:21, 24-27

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m a person who likes to plan ahead and be prepared for any challenges I may meet so that I can be assured of peace and stability in my life. I crave order and structure, and I rely on my own efforts to achieve that, rather than trusting in those around me, or even in God. The Gospel of Matthew gives us an image in today’s passage of two different people-- the wise one and the fool-- who have both constructed houses that they hope will protect them from the rains, floods, and winds that will come. What is striking about the contrast that Jesus makes between these two people is that the difference between them is not in the materials they use to build their houses, or whether or not they build their houses in places that experience rain, floods, and strong winds. Rather, the only difference is what they choose as the foundation of their house. The wise person does not rely on the quality of her construction or her ability to avoid all storms that might hit her house, but instead builds a sturdy house on a foundation that is capable of sustaining and protecting her through even the worst of storms. Jesus tells us in the Gospel that the foundation we must build our houses and our lives on is the will of our God. All of the efforts I make in my life to avoid the storms by my carefully constructed plans are worthless if I don’t build those plans on a foundation of trust in God, who is the “eternal Rock” (Is 26:4)  and a commitment to living out God’s will. This Advent, let us renew our faith and trust in God, who is our steady foundation and refuge in times of darkness, confusion, and stormy weather in our lives. Let us rely less on our own efforts at control, let go, and place our hope in Christ.

Michelle Verner is the Campus Minister for Fusz Hall.

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