Summary: A sermon for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 4 Lectionary 9

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3rd Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 4

Lectionary 9

Matthew 7:21-29

Firm Foundation

21 ¶ "Not every one who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

22 On that day many will say to me, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’

23 And then will I declare to them, ’I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’

24 "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock;

25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

26 And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand;

27 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,

29 for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. RSV

Grace and peace to you form our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

In December 2001, the "Leaning Tower of Pisa" was finally reopened to the public after having been closed for almost a dozen years. During that time, engineers completed a $25 million renovation project designed to stabilize the tower. They removed 110 tons of dirt, and reduced its famous lean by about sixteen inches. Why was this necessary? Because the tower has been tilting further and further away from vertical for hundreds of years, to the point that the top of the 185-foot tower was seventeen feet further south than the bottom, and Italian authorities were concerned that if nothing was done, it would soon collapse.

What was the problem? Bad design? Poor workmanship? An inferior grade of marble? No. The problem was what was underneath. The sandy soil on which the city of Pisa was built was just not stable enough to support a monument of this size. The tower had no firm foundation. (1)

The "Leaning Tower of Pisa" leaned because it’s foundation was weak. A firm foundation is important when one is building something. I enjoy watching television shows that show something being built. They show the building of these structures from the beginning to the end. At the beginning they show the foundation of the building. Depending on how tall the building will be, they show how complicated the foundation needs to be. If it is a tall building, they show how pillars or cement is put deep into the ground for the building to rest upon. They show that the building needs a firm foundation so that it might last a long time.

Sometimes they show building or bridges that do not have the right kind of foundation and they collapse. They showed a bridge that was not built correctly so that the wind somehow got the road way of the bridge swaying so much that the bridge collapsed. The foundation of that bridge was not strong enough to support the road way in a high wind.

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