Welcome to the Sunday Devotion.
Let me just put this out there. I love rocks. Big ones, small ones, flat ones, round ones. They are all so unique. Rocks are amazing and beautiful. I have a cherished collection of rocks in my garden.
Most of my rocks come from the red clay soil around my house. We discovered them as we dug out new gardens. They came from the same soil, yet all have very different appearances. Some are smooth and some are rough. Some are light and some are dark. Some have streaks of quartz and some have red and gray layers. With so many differences, these rocks obviously didn’t have the same origins, but here they are: together. Their differences are even more obvious and beautiful when they lay together in my rock garden. The patterns of their differences contribute to the overall beauty.
I could go on and on about my rocks. I’ve added new ones occasionally that came from different places. These new additions just add to the beauty of my community of rocks.
Community of rocks? That is a strange way to put it. As I write this description about my rocks, I find myself thinking more and more about community. For you, this might be a stretch, but let me explain my musings.
You see, my pile of rocks is like a community. Within a community there are a diverse and special people who look different, think differently and have their own special characteristics, i.e., gifts and talents. We are all beautiful and unique. Some big, some small, some flat, some round, some smooth, some rough, some light, some dark, some that shine, some with interesting layers. But we are a community, a wonderful, diverse community. We are like my rocks and we experience the blessings of unity and diversity found in communities.
You know, in the middle of the rocks in my garden there is a rock carved with the inscription: Jesus is My Rock. “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust…” (Psalm 18:2) For me, it is significant to have this inscribed rock mixed into the collection of rocks. In it I see the rock of God’s strength and everlasting faithfulness.
In our communities, we must be rocks because rocks are strong. Rocks hold up to the pelting rain and freezing snow. As a community we face the onslaught of external forces that beat upon us. But as a community, I pray we only shift closer together and be more unified. May we nestle around the rock of God which gives us a stronghold. In Matthew 24-25 we are told, "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
Yes, I love rocks and I love how they symbolize so many elements of my faith. Rocks are part of many metaphors in the scriptures, and I’d like to leave you with this one from 1 Corinthians 10:4. “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
So I invite you to join me in finding the connection to God and our community as we gaze upon rocks. May we see the beauty in the diversity; and may we be the rocks of our community, in close communion with God. Amen.
Author: Bonnie Barber
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.