Jesus is our cornerstone. You’ve heard it before. Ephesians 2:20 tells us, “Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.” The Bible uses the imagery of constructing a building to show us how we fit into the historic story of Christianity. So, if Jesus is our cornerstone what does that mean for us?
First we must understand exactly what a cornerstone is. Unless you’re mason who builds using stone or brick you may be unfamiliar with the term. A cornerstone is the first stone set in the foundation of a building. It is important because all other stones or bricks will be placed in reference to the cornerstone.
It becomes clear why Jesus is referred as the cornerstone in our lives. He is the person we look to as we shape and transform our lives. If we are to be Christians, or “little-Christs,” then we need to mirror our lives after Jesus’. Without his teaching and guidance our lives would fall apart and crumble to the ground.
If God is constructing a house covering the Earth, Jesus would be the first stone set, as the cornerstone, and all of us Christian believers would be set alongside the cornerstone. We would have a little more than 25% of the walls completed. Where is the other 75% of this house? It is the rest of the human population, all the non-believers.
These other stones now need to be set gradually within the walls of our house. This can be accomplished only by the work of believers sharing their faith with non-believers. However, construction has been slowed to a painful crawl.
I believe a major problem we face as Christian believers is that we are terrified. We are afraid to sacrifice our comfort, our pride, our well-being. The world is a twisted, messed up place. There is so much we still don’t understand about our world and there is still so much we don’t understand about our own faith. We are all figuring it out as we go, and I understand that. I experience all of the same emotions any other Christian feels when faced with the trials of our sin-filled world. But, we can not allow this fear to stop us from continuing the construction that God has laid out for us. We need to take a risk, the same risk Christians have been taking for centuries.
Throughout history there have been many accounts of horrible plagues ravaging countries. Crippling sickness that would cause anyone to hide inside until the end times. These accounts also tell us that the people who were out there risking their lives to help the sick were the Christians. Time and time again Christians are sacrificing their health, comfort, and safety to help others in times of immense despair. Even today, as we are faced with the growing epidemic of Ebola, there are Christians on the field providing health services to those in need.
Mister Rogers once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
We are those helpers that Fred Rogers talked about. People are seeking these helpers and we need to be there to receive them. As we help people it gives us the opportunity to share the Good News with them. That is why we need to take a risk and enter into the darkness. That is why we can no longer hide within our familiar communities for safety. In order to build the house that God started with Jesus Christ we must break down the walls of the church and invite everyone to enter in order to find salvation.
Jesus is our cornerstone. We are the stones set alongside that cornerstone. Now all of the remaining stones need to be set alongside us in order to complete this house that God is constructing.