You may have heard about the Kingdom Tower (photo above). It is to be the highest building in the world, almost a mile high! As the name indicates, it is to be built in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the desert! On sand! For sure, they are going to have to pour lots of concrete (“rock”) under there to make it work… Some people are investing a lot of time and money in this project; it better be finished and stand tall: it better not collapse after a few years. This should remind us of the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of St Luke:
“Which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, `This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’” (Luke11: 28-30)
Another bit of good advice is also found in the Gospel of St Matthew. After all, we all know that Jesus was “a carpenter” (which also meant contractor), so Jesus could speak even from his own human experience:
“[be] like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon 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.”
Well, it won’t be raining much in Saudi Arabia, so the Kingdom Tower should be pretty safe – at least – from rain and flooding. But the name “Kingdom Tower” should also remind us of the Kingdom of God. Jesus, the wise builder, also said that he came to build a house or tower: his Church. These are famous words, spoken to the Apostle Peter, often ignored or misunderstood:
“Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
Let’s think about this: being a wise builder and the Lord-Creator himself “through whom all things were made”, Jesus Christ built his Church, his “Kingdom Tower” upon the Rock so that it would stand forever. Not for a 100 years or until His last Apostle would die. Forever means “until the end of the age.”
You can bet on it: the structure established in 33 AD is still here today; it has stood the test of time. Christian communities, in uninterrupted succession. Still there in Jerusalem, Damascus, Corinth, Patmos. It may be time to discover the Church that has stood 2,000 years. Discover a structure build on the rock… the Orthodox Church.