April 24, 2020

At the end of the Sermon on the Mount the Lord Jesus tells of two houses built upon different foundations.

The point of the story is well known.

When the storms come the house built upon the foundation of sand collapses.

The house built upon the rock endures.

The sure foundation are the words and ways of Jesus.

The sure foundation is Jesus Himself.

What we want to think about now is the storm.

Let us mark well that the same storm beats upon the different houses.

It is an easy thing to assume that following Christ exempts us from suffering.

And following Christ certainly does exempt us from suffering of certain kinds.

For instance, it exempts us from all suffering after we die.

It also exempts us from certain species of suffering in this life.

Following Christ saves us from a great deal of the kind of suffering which comes from regret.

Following Christ saves us from many of the forms of suffering which sin and poor choices bring.

But following Christ certainly does not protect us from all suffering.

Indeed following Christ actually invites certain kinds of suffering.

Following Jesus means a cross.

Jesus assured His followers that if the world hated Him it will surely hate them. Indeed the time would come for some Christ followers when they would be killed by those who are sure they are doing God a service.

The oldest story with suffering as its theme is a story about the greatest man in the world. The greatest man encountered the greatest suffering simply because he was the greatest man.

His name was Job.

Then there is the suffering, common to all mankind, believer or unbeliever.

The suffering which comes with the same storm.

We share important things in common with all creatures.

We all live in mortal bodies.

We all inhabit the same sin-stricken plague-filled planet.

The only two people I know personally who have tested positive for the virus are both ministers.

One is free and clear, the other is already in heaven.

Neither were sheltered from the infection.

Earlier this week a 12-year-old child in my son’s church died of a blood clot apparently unrelated to Covid-19.

There was no warning.

He attended worship services every Sunday with his family right on up to the time when worship attendance was disallowed.

They are that kind of family.

Once we are in heaven it will not have mattered how long we were allowed to reside on the planet called earth.

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