Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:2 NRSV).
There are many occasions when people have fled to the shelter of a rock for safety. Those who defended the island of Malta in 1941. Those who used the Catacombs beneath Rome for worship during times of persecution. Early Christians who sought refuge in the Cappadocian “fairy chimneys” in Turkey. The rocky Hindu Kush (Caucasus mountains) that have helped Afghans repel invasions for millennia, from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan; Soviet Russia to the Northern Alliance.
What striking illustrations of the rock to which Christians flee when the world just seems to be crumbling around them! This rock is the shelter of God’s love. Everything around us may seem to be washing away. Our feeble faith may seem to be no match for the destructive winds that seek to blow us off course. The storms of life may threaten to sink our ship.
Yet, there is a Rock! A Rock that is mightier than all our fears. A Rock that is higher than we – a Rock that is above and below the quicksand of all temporal things. This is the Rock which the psalmist clung to constantly when the foundations of his world seemed to wash away. “The LORD is my rock… in whom I take refuge.” “You are indeed my rock and my fortress.” “He alone is my rock and my salvation” (Psalm 18:2; Psalm 31:3; Psalm 62:2&6).
Too often we think of Christianity as something abstract. A set of propositions to be memorised. A list of doctrines to be debated. But at the heart of our religion and faith is a glorious reality which has concrete meaning here and now.
In the midst of a world in upheaval we have a rock! It is the rock of our Saviour’s love, mercy, unfailing guidance, and protection. Jesus is that rock which is “higher than I”. Jesus is the rock to which we cling, and he is the rock of which we sing: “Rock of ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee” (see God’s love for Moses Exodus 33:).
Whatever may be going on in the world both around and within us, may we turn from the shallow, shifting sands of earthly wisdom, and to the rock that is higher and stronger than we – our Friend, Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, our Rock and our Redeemer. There is no foundation firmer. There is no assurance more solid. His fortress of love is impenetrable.
Wednesday 29th April 2020.