I built a castle on the beach. As it does every day, the tide came in and went out again, so I built a boat, and the next day, a fort – which I defended valiantly from the waves until it was hopeless. Of course, I never intended to live there.

In Newquay, someone wanted to live on the beach and built a house on a rock known as ‘The Island’. Built on rock, not sand. It’s still there.

In Hemsby, in Norfolk, there are houses built on sandy cliffs near the sea. Nearer the sea than they used to be. Too close. For some, moving house has taken on a new meaning.

In 1989 we learned a new word: liquefaction. The sandy soil in the marina district of San Francisco became like water and the houses weren’t left standing. It was an earthquake, not wind and rain. But devastating, all the same. I wonder if Jesus would have used a different analogy if he’d taught in San Francisco?

But it was an analogy, which means we have to think about it a bit. What is ‘rock’ and ‘sand’ when it comes to putting Jesus’ teaching into practice? And what is the rain, streams and wind that might attack what we’ve built?


“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice…” Mat 7:24





Revd Raymond Obin

01635 38212 / 0781 012 0117

[email protected]


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