Jesus said to them, ’Have you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this and it is marvellous in our eyes.’’ (Matthew 21: 42)
Consequently you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2: 19-22)
One week ago we were shocked to read a headline in the local newspaper ‘Wellingborough church hall left with a gaping hole after foundations collapse’. The church is ministered by a friend. Building work on an adjacent site had undermined the structure’s foundations and a corner section of wall collapsed.
It reminded me of a visit to St Bride’s church in London, which had later been very influential in the expansion of printing and nearby development of Fleet Street. The first stone walled church had been built on the site in the sixth century. Inadequate records of the site’s previous use resulted in one corner being built on an area previously used as a Roman burial site. Not long afterwards, that corner of the building collapsed and needed to be rebuilt.
These disasters reflect inadequate preparations for the construction and support of a physical building. There were no doubt examples in the Holy Land of construction failures which Jesus had in mind when he explained how to construct and support our own lives.
Jesus is the key cornerstone on which our lives and our salvation depends. He has laid the foundation so that each of us can secure our place in heaven. Strengthened in this knowledge, we can withstand life’s many challenges.
Through receipt of the Holy Spirit we have already become a secure part of God’s household. We celebrate this on Sunday with Pentecost.
A Psalm (Ps 118: 22-24)
The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.