Church that lasts forever

Granite. It's tough, durable rock—molten deep in the earth and solidified into crystalline stone that polishes to a high shine. The mountains in Mary Baker Eddy's native New Hampshire (the "Granite State") are full of it. So are the yards of many New Englanders, where massive granite outcropppings sometimes look like statuary. And around the globe, the enduring beauty of granite finds its way into important buildings and monuments—a symbol of strength, permanence, and continuity.

Church is a lot like that. Strong and everlasting, it stands like a rock against the ravages of time, trauma, adversity, oppression. Over the centuries, the Christian Church has stood as a secure reference point where people can turn for encouragement, strength, grounding, peace, healing.

Yet Jesus didn't establish his Church as a means of escape from the world, but as a powerful force for change and progress in the world. He appointed his most spiritually perceptive and courageous disciple, Peter—whose name meant "rock" — to begin his new Church. It was Peter who first stated openly that Jesus was "the Christ." At that dramatic moment, Jesus said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

This is the end of the issue. Ready to explore further?
November 4, 2002

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.