As we journey through these uncertain times, each day Sean will seek to post a thought or reflection, a Bible verse or a prayer.
Saturday 4th July 2020
‘Cornerstones & Foundations’
At the time of writing there is building work happening in and around the local area. A small number of new houses are being built in Cruden Bay and beside the church is the construction of the new cemetery – levelling the ground, putting up fencing and laying down paths and a roadway. Once the area is planted with grass and shrubs and wild flower beds, it should make an attractive and peaceful setting.
Construction and building are used with great effect in the Bible to illustrate different aspects of the faith. The parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders reminds us of the importance of setting our lives on the right foundations. That we need to reach out to God before we meet Him in person! And the passage in 1 Peter reminds us that our faith foundation is Jesus Christ. The person whom so many choose to reject is at the centre of everything. Creation, redemption, judgement and eternity.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
1 Peter 2: 4-10
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
In his book Mere Christianity, C S Lewis makes this observation: "Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of--throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, and running up towers, and so on. The point here is that Jesus is the foundation of our faith, the cornerstone of our faith and the capstone of our faith. And his work of building is never complete, until we reach glory.
Rev Sean Swindells
Cruden Parish Church
Parent God, Deliverer of our daily bread
we, Your children, come before You
hungry and thirsty for the spiritual nourishment
that only You can provide.
For we have tasted that You are good
and we cannot live without Your goodness.
God in Christ,
Cornerstone of our fellowship and faith,
we Your living stones
come to be built up together
as Your house,
to Your design.
For we are ready to be chiselled and polished
until we are fit for Your present purpose for us.
Forgive us, Gracious God,
if we are feeding ourselves on the junk food of idols
stuffing full with excessive meals,
our fridges and freezers
with much that will go to waste,
and our homes
with space and possessions
that we do not truly need.
And if we are those of Your children, Lord,
who are at this moment
having a hard time making ends meet
then show us where and who to ask,
where to seek
and the doors upon which we should knock.
Reveal to us who in our faith family
we might approach for sharing or help.
if we have lost the life in us
and become as dry, lustre-lacking, dead stones,
then forgive us.
Refresh us with water and Spirit
that we may emerge gleaming with Your presence
and filled again with a passion for the Gospel.
in the quietness now, we make our personal prayers to you:
our confessions of wrongdoing,
our needs for healing
and our offloading of anything that troubles or burdens us.
Through the silence Lord, hear our prayers.
God whose Spirit interprets our deepest longings
we praise You
for Your never-ending and limitless love and mercy.
Now we are ready to feast upon Your Word to us today.
In Jesus’ Name we pray.
(Rev Carol Ford)
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
you will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
now and forever.
May the Father’s hand
keep you from stumbling,
the footprints of Jesus
give you confidence to follow,
and the fire of the Spirit
keep you warm and safe
in your walk with God this day.