Saturday, December 27, 2008

Matt. 7:24

The following is commentary about Matthew 7:24

"Jesus here wills to signify how great is the strength of virtue, even in the present life. What then is this her strength? To live in safety, to be easily subdued by no terror, to stand superior to all that despitefully use us. To this what can be equal? For this, not even he that wears a crown can provide for himself, but only that man who follows after virtue.
The truly marvelous thing being this, that not in fair weather, but when the storm is vehement, and the turmoil great, and the temptations continual, he cannot be shaken ever so little.
“For the rain descended” saith He, “the floods came, the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon the rock.”
By “rain” here, and “floods”, and “winds”, He is expressing metaphorically the calamities and afflictions that befall men; such as false accusations, plots, bereavements, deaths, loss of friends, vexations from strangers, all the ills in our life that any one could mention. “But to none of these,” saith He, “doth such a soul give way; and the cause is, it is founded on the rock.”
He calls the steadfastness of His doctrine a rock; because in truth His commands are stronger than any rock, settling one above all the waves of human affairs.
And now what can be happier than this kind of life? For this, not wealth, not strength of body, not glory, not power, nor ought anything else will be able to secure, but only the possession of virtue.”
St. Chrysostom.

I am edified by Chrysostom, one of the early Fathers of the church, and when I read this it reminded me of things shared by fellow bloggers and others that we have all faced in the last few months. I'm not sure I would go so far as Chrysostom in saying that "we cannot be shaken ever so little," when the rain descends and the wind is blowing and beating upon our house; and the flood is rising it is loud, frightful and threatening, but we will not fall. That I can testify of myself and the testimonies of those I know who trust in Christ that have faced, and are still facing, howling wind and beating forces.

I took this photo in Metarie Cemetery just outside New Orleans. Sue and I walked among hundreds of above ground graves with one of the largest array of beautiful sculptured art in the U.S. This woman who is clinging to the cross of Christ was brought to mind with the above passage. She has fled to the only sure safety that this world offers, or the next.


Candice Houston said...

Beautiful sculpture and quote....thanks.

FCB said...

Hi Candice,
Glad you liked it. We were in a frenzy that day trying to capture as many pictures as we could. I must confess there is still a dispute over who took what. But I'm sure I took all the really good ones :)

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Fred :)

Very special, meaningfu, inspiring photo.

The post is an eye opener and states simple but very poewerful truths.

Many thanks for sharing.


Donna said...

I find myself perched on a rock and the merciless waves still beat my body. Then I look up, and see that there is still a higher perch above the one I am clinging . I realize I must climb higher on this rocky precipice in order to avoid the determined waves.

It is not a lack of faith that beats at my soul, just a lack of journey. I believe that those who know Christ are clinging to the Rock with all they have...but our Jesus continually urges us higher still. Above all the worldly enticements, and sorrows only letting us rest for a while...while our reward awaits.

My face pressed against the solid rock, my confidence increases with each feet becoming like my beloveds...

The climb should harden me, toughen me against the elements, but instead my heart of stone becomes flesh with each step.

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Fred, thank you for this post ...... reminding us that our only job is to cling to the Rock and in that, God will finish what He has started in us.....

FCB said...

Hi Donna,
Interesting and moving, as well as graphic, comments. "My face pressed agains the solid rock", this is such a vivid picture and one I think the sculptor portrays so well.
God bless,