by Lt. Colonel Paul Smith, Assistant Chief Secretary
Recently, I had the privilege of participating in a building dedication. That event caused me to think about foundations.
One of the HGTV shows my wife, Renea, and I watch is called “Good Bones.” It follows a mother and daughter team who transform old homes with good bones—a solid structure—in the Indianapolis area. A solid foundation is essential in buildings, in ministry and in life.
Salvation Army buildings normally have dedication plaques which include the words: Dedicated for the Glory of God and service to Humanity. It’s a reminder of why we try daily to live up to the promise of “Doing the Most Good.” Salvation Army service is to advance our mission of communicating the message of God’s reconciling love in Christ and practically embodying that love through serving whomever we encounter in need without discrimination.
Our mission provides a strong, focused foundation for all our ministries to the people in the communities in which we serve.
At the end of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds those who wanted to follow Him that their attitudes, behavior, priorities and values need to be in alignment with their commitment to God’s Kingdom and to seeing it grow with these familiar words of hope and caution:
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. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matt 7:24-27 NIV).
In that short parable, Jesus said there is wisdom to be found when our faith and our behavior work together. He also observed that the synergy of faith and action provides stability and strength to be able to face life’s storms.
Many people who come into our buildings or those who we meet in the course of living are looking for stability. They need someone to come alongside them, to let them know they are loved and to help them see hope is a real possibility. They are being battered by life’s storms and need someone to point them to Jesus, our rock and firm foundation. My prayer is that we will do this, continuing to be true to our mission.