“Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It didn’t fall because it was firmly set on bedrock. But everybody who hears these words of mine and doesn’t put them into practice will be like a fool who built a house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It fell and was completely destroyed.” – Matthew 7:24-27
This morning – in a small, developing community just a few steps from downtown Wake Forest – Rebekah and I joined in the dedication of WFPC‘s latest Habitat for Humanity build. Officially, we’re still on vacation today, but Rebekah didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to represent our church.
Wake Forest Presbyterian is a part of Habitat’s “Northern Wake County Coalition,” a group of around 15 area churches working together to facilitate not just places to live, but responsible, community-oriented, home ownership. It’s part of a multi-faceted mission commitment we have that actively works to build the Kingdom of God, including:
- feeding the hungry (via a handful of different ministries),
- housing the homeless,
- preventing homelessness,
- and – via Habitat – building viable community.
I believe it’s critically important that we tackle issues collectively – as The Body of Christ – that no one church can hope to do alone. It’s not just the pooling of resources, but the coming together, the fellowship, the sense of common calling, the all important witness of our support and encouragement and love to and for one another.
To that end, we – the Presbyterians – are working with local Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics, Episcopalians, Baptists, and a variety of non-denominational congregations.
In the process, two important things are being strengthened: social justice and the kingdom of God. I guess I could have just written, The Kingdom of God, because if the kingdom is being advanced, then by definition social justice must be one of the results.
The Wise Build on the Rock:
Rebekah was asked to lay out a theological foundation for the question, Why do we build? “And I’d like that in three to five minutes,” said Rick Beech (Habitat’s vice-president for Faith Relations) when he asked her to speak.
Rebekah used the “house on the rock” passage, and spoke about the strong foundation of building in the context of faith and community – and she pulled it off in close to four minutes. Of course she did what she does best, which is to engage people’s attention, draw them into Jesus, and teach them something about discipleship, all while making them smile.
If you are not familiar with the work of Habitat for Humanity, then check out their local link – HabitatWake.org.
Meanwhile, here are a few photos from the dedication. You can tell that it’s a beautiful home, just right for a teacher and her daughter. Yes, that’s right, Habitat’s home owners tend to be responsible, hard-working, community-minded people. Support of this work strengthens everyone in our community, not just the family moving in.
Consider getting involved yourself, and check out your local chapter.
Peace, and more – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.