Bedrock - Monday Musing, July 11, 2022
Bedrock – solid rock underlying loose material within the crust of Earth; the fundamental principles on which something is based. A headline in the Cape Cod Times caught my eye the other day: “Biden: CIA is ‘bedrock’ of national security.” On a visit to Langley this past Friday, Biden marked the 75th anniversary of the agency’s founding after World War II. While at the headquarters in Virginia, he thanked the CIA for its work in Ukraine and called America’s intelligence officers “the best in the world.” I am sure that those who have a connection to “the agency” would agree. My thoughts, though, have lingered on the term bedrock, which has me wondering: “What is the bedrock of our faith?”
This might sound like a silly question coming from a minister – the answer is obvious, right? Perhaps the answer is more complicated when you consider the use of the word implies singular. And as we know, there is complexity to faith. Our faith centers on: God, the Creator; God, the Redeemer (or son, Jesus Christ); and God, the Comforter (or Holy Spirit). So we have three aspects of God that we define as the Trinity, but don’t forget about scripture, tradition, prophecy, prayer, and discernment. Doesn’t it take all of the above to form a community of faith? Is it possible to assign only one aspect of our faith as being the ‘bedrock’ – to the exclusion of all else? Because to do so – quoting the hymn “My Hope Is Built” – “all other ground is sinking sand.”
Living on Cape Cod, I dare say that there isn’t bedrock underneath us, just a whole lot of sand! So how far down do we need to go to find bedrock? The fundamentals of our faith have to be all of the above because many of us resonate toward various aspects at any given time. How can we not associate with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the days of Christmas? Is it possible not to celebrate the Holy Spirit on Pentecost? We read scripture each Sunday, say our prayers to God, and we gather as a community, calling upon God to help us discern our ministry, work we will collectively do as a community of faith.
President Biden may have highlighted the CIA during his recent visit to the agency’s headquarters, but I don’t believe he intended to exclude the other agencies and people who are tasked with our nation’s security. I want to think that Biden meant to say that the CIA is fundamental to our security, but not exclusive. The same holds true for faith; all of the above are fundamental – necessary – to build a community of faith, with one bedrock requirement added – YOU. See you in church!