“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise person who built their house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.” - Matthew 7:24-25 (NRSV)
The town of Moose Factory, Ontario, is situated on an island in the middle of the Moose River, just before it empties into James Bay. When the ice breaks up in the spring, the island often floods, as it did shortly after St. Thomas Church was completed in 1885.
The building was picked up off its foundations, and faithful churchgoers attached ropes to the sanctuary to keep it from floating away. After that, the congregation knew it needed a flood plan.
Rather than moving the sanctuary to higher ground, they drilled large holes in the floor. Most of the year the holes remain plugged, but when a flood is expected, they’re opened up.
The rain falls, the floods come, and the water drains back out. The house does not fall, and it stands today as the oldest wooden church in Canada.
I write this devotion not knowing what this week may hold. Uncertain about the world you face as you read it. But one thing I am certain of, whether it’s this week or another: the rain will fall, the floods will come.
But we are Christ’s church, founded on rock (or at least with good drainage). We were built to withstand the storm, to give shelter to those threatened by the rising waters, to serve as a testament to the indestructible power of love.
This week. Always.
Firm Foundation, steady me for the work of love.
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC, Chicago, and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.