May 23 is Pentecost. It is possible, depending, of course, on Covid-19 restrictions, that three people will join First Mennonite Church—one through baptism and two via membership transfer. Praise the Lord! Having people join the church got me (Pastor Rod) thinking about the body of Christ and its foundation. Foundations are especially important. A foundation defines the shape, establishes the stability, and defines the size and nature of what can be built upon it. We see this clearly in the construction of buildings, but it is also true for other kinds of foundations, such as:
-The basic ideas on which theological understandings or philosophies are built are called “foundations.”
-There are foundation garments and foundation make-up.
-Bee Keepers use sheets of “foundation wax” in order to keep the sheets of honeycomb uniform.
In all of these “foundations” there is a close relationship between the foundation and what is built upon it. If a foundation is inadequate, whatever is built upon it will collapse (Matthew 7:24-27) or at least tilt precariously (like the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy). Even when a foundation is perfectly built, it remains useless if nothing further is built on it. Foundations exist to be built upon. That is also true of the church’s foundation. Our foundation expects that we build on it as well.
The Christian church is built upon a foundation that is not an idea, not a doctrine, not an ethical standard, but a person – Jesus Christ. The metaphor of Christ as the foundation of the Church was one of Menno Simons’ favourite passage of scriptures. It’s been the moto of the Mennonite Church for years and is displayed at the front of our sanctuary.
For the next number of weeks, Pastor Rod will focus on this image of the foundation—Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.