Growing up, I can often remember going with my Dad to job sights. In fact, he always had a child’s sized hard hat in his car for me to wear so that I could stay safe with him. He is an architect and has been one for over 40 years. I have always been fascinated by building sites and how quickly homes and commercial buildings are erected. My dad showed me how to read a blueprint in Elementary school and it was amazing to watch those blueprints come to life. In Middle School, my dad designed the home I grew up in and during the summer of 1999, we watched that home getting built. First, the land was cleared, then the foundation poured, then the walls, roof, windows and doors were constructed. We all pitched in to paint it over a few weekends and then moved in the Fall of 1999. There is a lot that we can learn about our faith journey through watching a home being built.
If you read through the Scriptures, there are several references to buildings as a lesson for our faith journey with God. On Sunday, Pastor Philip shared about how if Jesus is the Cornerstone then we are called to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and allow ourselves to be used in God’s Holy Temple. The Cornerstone is the first piece that is laid down on a foundation and it is what all other pieces are laid down in connection to which signifies its utmost importance. Other stones in the building, temple, or church will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure. Cornerstones now are no longer made out of stone, as they were in Jesus’ day, but with more modern building materials. Now cornerstones are about the symbolism and the dedication of the building and who helped shape it. Sometimes a Cornerstone would have the year the building was established or the name of the Architect on it to commemorate its dedication.
And so, if we don’t live in stone structures anymore and we don’t worship in stone churches today, what can we take from this metaphor on Sunday and how do we implement it? How can we daily live out that Jesus is the Cornerstone in our lives?
If a Cornerstone is the first piece laid down, then start your day with Jesus. If Jesus is the one that sets the walls in alignment for a building, then, Jesus can align the priorities, relationships, and situations in our lives and set them straight. When we take the time to pause and begin or dedicate our day back to God, it is amazing what we see unfold. When we start with our relationship with Jesus being primary, the other issues of the day seem to either melt away or figure themselves out. Not all of the time of course, but at least most of the time. This can be one way of using the metaphor from Sunday to grow in our faith.
Another way to understand this metaphor is to remember the modern use of a Cornerstone. In today’s culture, you can often see Cornerstones as symbolic of celebrating the person or persons that the building is dedicated to. And in some cases, Cornerstones serve as a time capsule that commemorates the stories of the people that use that sacred space. Either way, we ask ourselves, if Jesus is the Cornerstone, is His name written out in a permanent way on the corner of our lives? When people look at us, do we act as if we are commemorating the life, death, and resurrection of Emmanuel? Are we dedicating our words, actions, ambitions, and passions to the one who can calm the seas and raise the dead? Do we represent the Image of God in how we carry ourselves and treat one another?
As I think back to my younger years, I know that God has a blueprint for each of us; a design of a life lived out in abundance. And I know, from life experience that a home isn’t built in a day, just like our faith will be tested and grows over time. But as I consider this building metaphor throughout my life, I must ask and answer honestly, is Jesus the Cornerstone or am I? As I consider this, I invite you to think about this with me. And may you ask God to show you a way of more deeply understanding Jesus as the Cornerstone for your own life.