The Rev. Patrick Blaney
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Have you ever noticed that things that you buy today just don’t seem to last? The purchase of my last sofa was a perfect example. In fact, the experience just about drove me crazy!   The first sofa I had delivered turned out to be defective. I then settled on a second, in a different style – which also ended up being faulty.   I finally settled on a third, which seemed to be of better quality. Yet, I still had this niggling feeling in the back of my mind… Well, you can probably guess the end result.   Sofa #3 looked lovely on the outside, receiving lots of Oohs and Awwwws, from friends and family, that I’d finally come to a decision!  

However, after about 8 months, the coushins started to lose their shape and the sofa started to sag in the middle. It was a bit embarrassing ,when older ladies would sink down so deep into its coushins, that they would need a helping hand to guide them, in order to get out!   Clearly my sofa’s framework was not the product of a skilled craftsmen, nor did the sofa have the support of a strong foundation.   I no longer have a sofa in my living room, just a loveseat!  

The same principle can be applied to our Christian faith. Paul tells us in this morning’s Gospel reading: it takes a skilled master builder to lay a firm foundation. God’s church was built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.   In the Christian faith, a builder who is wise hears the Word of God, applies it to his life, and as a result, stands firm through turbulent times.  

Our trust in God, our growing relationship with Christ, and our application of God’s Word are all crucial to building up our foundation of faith. When storms of life come our way, we’ll be grounded in biblical truths and remain steady in our moral beliefs.  

So it makes sense that the people in our life — and our relationships with them — are also important to God. God desires that you love others and seek to build them up so that they can discover and live out their calling.  

Also, God wants us to respect our bodies. Your body is a holy place because God’s Spirit resides within you. When you harm your body, you’re dishonoring God. So Keep your body healthy. You will need to remain open to God’s call to enable you to carry out God’s greater plans for your life.   Keeping active through fellowship in ministries within the church’s body of Christ, is also important. Fellowship with other believers helps us learn from each other and to mature spiritually. It also helps us to be able to put to use the spiritual gifts God has blessed us with.   All of these things help us to develop our faith and achieve spiritual wholeness - both as a beloved child of God – and as the body of God’s church - which is made up of you and I, God’s people.  

If we follow all these steps, in the building of a faith community - God’s church will undoubtedly end up being a beautiful place. It will be a beautiful place, not because of the luster or its décor –but of the beautiful people and their loving service that its parishioner carry out, within it’s walls.  

It will be a living testament to our trust in God and God’s word. A place which is alive with goodwill, where God’s love is poured out, ever flowing. It will be a place where – unlike my sofa – it won’t sag at its centre – but will be held firm, supported by a people rooted in their faith and where Christ is recognized as the chief cornerstone of its foundation.  

Thanks be to God! AMEN.  

Juanita Clark