I’ve always been fascinated by rocks–touchstones, stones for skipping in ponds, brightly colored pebbles in streams, and boulders whose heft is humbling. I like rocks so much that I once taught a short summer school college course whose textbook was *The Incredible Thrilling Adventures of the Rock!
What recalled all my rock-loving was the Gospel on a recent Sunday morning. (See Matthew 16:13-20.) Here Jesus notes that Peter (“Rock”) will have Christ’s church built on him. Whatever your interpretation of this passage, its core remains: The foundation of the church rests on rock-solid people.
We can depend on rocks. They’re sturdy and strong to their core. Rocks are older than almost anything we know. Rocks remain in their place for years, until forces in the natural world move or destroy them. Rocks may be like some people. Some older people, in fact.
If you’ve ever heard an older person—maybe even you?—described as “a rock in her community” or admired for steadfast and dependable character traits, you can understand why Jesus would have foreseen the role of people like Peter as a foundation for the church that would later gather around Christ’s life and teachings.
You can also understand how it’s possible that your own rock-like character traits might make you a trustworthy witness to Jesus’ way. You’re resolute and strong. Your life experiences add weight to your wisdom. And yes, you may be older than most things around you! Incredible/thrilling or not, the adventures of your life might make you into a compelling person, someone who other folks look up to. In fact: YOU may be Peter, on whom Christ’s church is built.
That could be part of an incredible, thrilling life adventure!
*This delightfully illustrated parable chronicles the imagined story of an eons-old rock that hopes for a life that might include some adventure. Author: Michael O’Donoghue; illustrator: Philip Wende. (See https://www.vulture.com/2016/01/the-three-michael-odonoghue-books-you-should-read-before-you-die.html for a review of this book and some biographical background about the now-deceased author.)