In a conversation recorded in Matthew Chapter 7 Jesus tells his disciples a story of a man who built his house on rock. We know the rest of the story and the implied wisdom of building on a foundation that is solid and will withstand the storms of life. Elsewhere Jesus tells us He is the rock on which we can build.
Below is a slideshow of some images of rock. The photographer Marian Kraus took them as an ode to the ancient wisdom and symbolism of rock and stones. As you look through the images I invite you to reflect on her observations abbreviated here:
‘Whether dense, heavy boulders, chiseled to size, which become the foundation stones of great architectural structures. Or large slabs, intricately designed, becoming altars. Or the Statues of Easter Island, 887 stone heads embodying great clan ancestors, surely our forebears must have labored endlessly to achieve such lasting feats. It’s not hard to understand why stone was so often chosen for these endeavors, the symbolism of stones was known to the ancients. It is a material of integrity, it patiently bears loads, and its sturdy make up allows it to weather well. To this day, 887 heads still gaze out over the land of their clans, and serve as architectural masterpieces of power and permanence.
The longevity of structures made of rock and stone often means that they are associated with the divine and the eternal. In the Christian church we hear a congregation belting out “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand”. Or you might hear a sermon on “The Rock of Ages,” the God of eternity who is the beginning and the end. The Church is joyfully proclaiming the metaphor of a reliable God. It seems only natural to associate God with a substance that is so permanent; a substance that endures age through age’.
And so it is clear that Christ in this conversation with those who would follow him encourages us to build with good things like love, patience, compassion and hard work, and in doing so, we build on the dame stuff as these steadfast rocks and stones that have seen it all and remain standing.