Many years ago, Bethany Covenant Church volunteered with the Red Cross to provide emergency shelter in times of flood. I don’t know who came up with the good idea to offer our building to the Red Cross. Whoever it was, I am thankful for her or his wisdom, love, and vision for ministry.
It has been a strange week at Bethany Covenant Church. We have had to move meetings into unfamiliar rooms. Our gymnasium has been lined with cots instead of children. Bethany Preschool, Children of the Valley, the youth group, confirmation, the women’s Bible studies, have all been postponed by the floodwaters and in order to create space for neighbors without homes. Our love for Jesus has compelled us to love our neighbors in their time of greatest need.
Jesus said, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it” Matthew 7:24-27).
What is the rock that Jesus asks us to build our lives around? A few verses earlier Jesus taught the Golden Rule. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). I have heard stories of how this church once stepped up to care for friends and neighbors during the last big flood. Once more, Bethany Covenant Church has found a way to bless our community on the dry rock of the Golden Rule.
I want to thank Tom Moser, Marilee Erickson, Karen Cornish, Wendy Duranceau, John and Denise Hanstad and all the other volunteers who showed up to serve our neighbors in need this week. I want to thank everyone who had to sacrifice a Bible study or a gathering of friends at church in order to create space for neighbors in need. Mostly, I want to thank God for a warm, dry building to share with our community to the glory of Jesus Christ.