Life changes! Looking to find faith now—seeking answers about God today. What once seemed to be solid ground with firm footing becomes like shifting sand beneath our feet. There are shifting sands in our lives today. We feel them in the political changes of several North African countries and in places closer to home: Wisconsin, Ohio, and Washington, DC. They are in our faith communities, in our families, and even in the shape of our dreams.
Our task in this generation, as it is for people of faith in each generation, is to develop our theological, social, and political understanding that is rooted in the past yet adapted to the realities of the present. We have an obligation to reinterpret our faith on our own journey and in our own time. But to do that reinterpretation requires a solid foundation.
At the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his listeners, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” (Matthew 7:24NRSV) This famous passage challenged many of the firmly held theological, social, and political opinions of people in Jesus’ day. These teachings shifted the sand under peoples’ feet and left with them the challenge to trust the rock solid teaching that lay underneath.
What is universal in this teaching of Jesus? It is that the eternal God lives in particular and peculiar people—like us! Salvation involves moving beyond our boundaries of race, class, and religion—beyond sin, pride, and division—to live in a way that is renewing, transformative, and life-giving. It is to place our trust in the future “reign of God” that is breaking into the now in ways that are characterized by working for justice and treating others with compassion. These are sacred things whatever our religious tradition. The oneness that many call heaven is found, at least in part, by embracing the abundance that comes from doing what brings you life, the abundance that comes from giving yourself away. When the desire to live this way overpowers any fear you have of taking the risk to live this way, you will discover heaven in your own heart.