This week we truly saw how our world is passing away – there was an earthquake in southern California. It wasn’t a big earthquake (I’m not sure how that’s possible), but there was still some damage done, nerves shaken, and a reality check given.
Earthquakes are scary – I’ve never lived through one, but I can certainly imagine. They take from us the one thing that we take for granted, solid footing. We like to feel that our little world can’t be disturbed, it’s perfect, and that nothing can take it away. We tell ourselves this every day, many times a day, and we almost believe it. Then the world groans. It’s shaken, and our world-view suffers too.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” – Matthew 7:24-27.
There is, however, only one way to view the world, and that’s through the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus knows the world: he made it, he came to it, lived in it, and, ultimately, he died for it. Our world may be made of rock and it may, at times, seem stable, but it has nothing on Jesus – the Rock of our Salvation. He is always stable, always there for us, and always there to forgive our failures.
Our failures are many. We lust, lie, trust in ourselves, and trust in the world. It seems natural. Look at what we’ve accomplished, the technology we have, and the buildings we’ve built. But our accomplishments fall short, technology fails, and buildings fall down. Yet there is an immovable rock that shall never crumble, fail, or fall short – your baptism.
Baptism is the gift that lifts us out of this failing world, and clothes us in Christ. At the font the Lord took us into his hands, and will never let us go. He continually builds us up through words of comfort – the Absolution, his Word preached and spoken. And he gives us true food – Christ’s body and blood – to strengthen our bodies and souls to everlasting life.
This world may fall apart, shake, rattle, and roll you about, and the big one might “finally come.” But we know it has. The ground shook when Christ died and rose. The bars of hell are broken, and the gates of heaven have burst open to receive you, who have received Christ in all his wonderful gifts.