Isaiah 58:12
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;

Reflection by Allie Melancon

In the verse for today, we hear the promise that God makes to God’s people: the promise of a restored foundation that will raise up many generations.

I love the image of foundation, probably because I am the daughter of a carpenter. Living in South Texas, you come to realize that there are particular areas that require your home to be built on pier and beam foundation (vs. more commonly used concrete slab). Pier and beam foundations allow for the ever-shifting ground to not take a toll on the foundation of your home and leave cracks in interior walls. Pier and beam also allows for your foundation to be repaired every couple of decades, increasing the longevity in the life of home.

I imagine this is the kind of the foundation that God is promising God’s people. A foundation that is designed for the shifting ground, one that can be repaired when needed, and one that will see generations live inside its walls. A solid foundation is not always a permanent structure reinforced with rebar and cement. Sometimes the best foundation takes into consideration the environment, the builder, and those who will be raised up.

One thing can be sure: no matter where we end up, or where our journey takes us, God’s promise to us is that we have a foundation that generations will come to know as their dwelling place. 

My father loves to restore old homes. He loves custom, craftsman homes that have been built on pier and beam. He finds they have good bones and character, and he is able to create a home and space for people that meets their current needs. Every house has a story, each generation has left its mark somewhere in that home. God has called us, set us apart, and marked us as Christ’s own. We are people with good bones and good character and if we are willing, able to be restored by Christ’s love.

Questions for reflection:

  • What images come to mind when you hear the word foundation? 
  • What does the shifting ground in your life look like? 
  • How might you or your church come alongside those who are seeking to set a foundation? 


Allie Melancon currently serves as the Director of College Missions in the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. She has a Masters of Arts in Global Leadership at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. As a candidate for ordination she is currently completing a Diploma in Anglican Studies at Bexley-Seabury Seminary. She has lived in intentional community with a handful of other women in San Antonio, TX for the last nine years. 

Episcopal Asylum & Detention Ministry Network:

Join us in building a strong foundation for the work of migration ministry across The Episcopal Church. EMM hosts an Asylum and Detention Ministry Network that in 2021 meets virtually on the fourth Wednesday of every month. The Ministry Network’s collaborative work and conversation focus on best practice-sharing in areas of direct service, organizing, advocacy actions, Christian formation and worship resources, and community education to protect asylum, promote humane and dignified alternatives to detention, and to support asylum seekers and those harmed by the immigration detention system. Join the Network.