I found myself thinking about the parable of the wise builder and the foolish builder today. Jesus told this parable many years ago to illustrate the importance of putting his words into practice. He said the disciples who put’s Jesus’ words into practice are like the wise builder who put the work in to dig down to rock before building the house. Then when the floods come, the house will stand. In contrast the disciple who does not put Jesus’ words into practice is like the foolish builder who doesn’t make the effort to dig down to rock and just builds on the sand. Oh, is that one in trouble with the floods come!
I was thinking about this parable because Jesus knew that all of his listeners knew that it was only sensible to put in the work and prepare for the floods even if they never came. Why would you leave your home to wishful thinking… “oh, it won’t rain here!” I sometimes hear Christian people suggesting that we don’t need to take precautions or put in the work if we just have faith in God. “oh, God will protect me. I have faith.” This reminds me of the devil tempting Jesus to throw himself off the pinnacle of the Temple to test God’s faithfulness. “Go ahead and see if God really loves you. He’ll send his angels to bear you up.” Jesus wasn’t about to test God and I think we should not either.
I share some of this theological thinking with you today because I have renewed concerns about the Coronavirus in our county and the lackadaisical response I see to this threat when I am traveling about our community. Today the cases reached 49.6 cases per 1,000,000. That’s almost 100 cases a day in Elkhart County. We are in the second highest surge since the big surge last winter, and we have not peaked yet. I keep hearing this is a surge of the vaccinated, but I am concerned because everyone I know who currently has Covid (four people) is fully vaccinated. Our ICU is at 87% full, and I believe it is going to get worse before it gets better.
So what shall we do about this unwanted interloper of a virus. Shall we build our house on the sands of wishful thinking… “I won’t get the virus, I’m safe because I’m vaccinated, If I get it, it won’t be very sick, God will protect me?” Or will we use our God given common sense and make the effort to protect ourselves.
My family is careful. We have homeowners’ insurance just in case a storm destroys our house. We wear seat belts in the car in case we are in an accident. And we wear masks whenever we go in stores or public places. Mike and I don’t eat in a restaurant much these days. We order out or dine in the outdoor settings. We do this to take reasonable precautions. We are only mildly concerned for ourselves but we especially want to protect the people with whom we share life. We don’t want to pass the virus to anyone in our congregations. We don’t want to inadvertently give it to my elderly parents with whom we visit frequently. I will be working closely with the unvaccinated children in our church in just a couple of weeks. I want to be careful for the sake of the children.
Friends, I urge you… please, please be careful right now for your own sake and for those with whom you share life. Be wise, prudent, and compassionate for your neighbor.
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