The first reading is a hymn Isaiah wrote for choral groups, for communities, for nations to sing. In it he peers into the future; he gazes into the Messianic age and there envisions the population of Jerusalem joyously acclaiming the protective strength of the city’s walls and ramparts. Impregnable walls are they and invulnerable ramparts, able to repel the fiercest assaults. Impregnable and invulnerable, because it is the Lord God who has built them. The Lord God is an “everlasting rock.”
In the Gospel reading Jesus is bringing the Sermon on the Mount to a close. In the Sermon he has talked about his values, how they bring us beyond the spirituality of the Old Testament, and how they contradict the values of the world in which we live.
Before he closes his Sermon, Christ brings us down and sets our feet firmly on the ground with his parable of the house built on sandy soil and the house built on rock. Singing the praises of Jesus’ teaching, admiring its beauty and at the insights it provides us, in itself is building on sandy soil. We hit hard rock when we live his teachings in everything we do each day.
Advent is a time for us to prepare ourselves to meet the Lord on Christmas, to look; therefore, at our values and our value systems, to ask ourselves is there need of reorganizing our priorities. We need to also to ask ourselves if Christ’s values are evident to others in every act we perform each day.
God and Christ and their values are the rock on which we build our Christian lives.