The image of God as a rock is often used in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. More than 20 psalms speak of God as our rock. A rock can symbolize many things. In most of the psalms, it is symbolic of God’s strength and power, a place of refuge and safety. For example, in Psalm 18 we pray:
“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, … (vs. 2)
And who is a rock, except our God?
The God who girded me with strength,
and made my way safe.” (vss. 31b–32)
From the Hebrew Scriptures, the prophet Isaiah invites us to “Trust in the Lord forever; for in the Lord, you have an everlasting rock” (Is. 26:3). Isaiah looks forward to a time when all Judah will sing a song of victory to God. It is a song to be sung celebrating eternal happiness, a day of joy and hope filled with thanksgiving and praise. The key to the victory was the people’s trust in God as their Rock.
In the Gospels, Christ is our Rock, our firm foundation. The words of Jesus are a call and a challenge to action. We are called to hear and to put Jesus’ words into practice for a foundation built on rock. It is our faith and trust in Jesus that gives us a secure rock-solid foundation.
We too look forward to a time when we and all God’s people and creation will sing a song of victory. Daily we are invited to prepare for this time when we will meet our God face to face. Amid our concerns and worries, our conflicts, misunderstandings, or disappointments, we are called to place our trust in Jesus Christ who will strengthen us to hear His Word and walk in His way.
May Christ alone be our Rock of salvation!
Julie Schleper, OSB
Photo: Stones of Lake Superior, taken by Sister Nancy Bauer