Reflections: May 20, 2021
Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter
By Alfonso Espinosa
"When then is this that is written, 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone'? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him." (Luke 20:17-18)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It starts to mess with our prideful sinful nature when other people receive praise and honor while we do not. Well, no one gets more praise than Jesus. The Father has given Him the position of all power and authority. People are therefore easily offended by Him. In fact, Jesus is so important that He is described as the "cornerstone." This is a fascinating word and usually refers to a foundation stone. In fact, whenever we sing the hymn, "The Church's One Foundation" we are reminded that Jesus is indeed our foundation and we build upon Him, our Rock (Matthew 7:24-25).
However, there is another sense of "cornerstone," and that is a keystone that is not below us on the ground, but above us in the ceiling. It is a stone towards which all other stones are aligned. This stone determines the integrity of the building. So the cornerstone might be below you, by your feet, or above you, over your head.
In this light, God warns against pride and rebellion, especially when people reject the Word of Christ. Depending on the extent of our rebellion against Jesus, we might either stumble and fall over our Savior, or even worse, be crushed by Him in judgment. Christ is Savior and He is also Judge. If we reject Him, we reject God's building, God's holy place, God's house. Thank God that He in His great love and mercy, has led you through His Word and Sacrament not to reject His Word, not to be like those in the vineyard who rejected God's prophets and Jesus. Instead you embrace Christ who has made you one of His living stones (1 Peter 2:5), built up with your brothers and sisters into His spiritual house, a royal priesthood. Through faith in Jesus, you do not stumble over Him, but you bow before Him. You are not crushed by Him, but you are raised up by Him. Jesus gives you a firm foundation and a perfectly aligned shelter. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
LORD Jesus, You are the stone that the builders rejected. But on the third day, You became the cornerstone. By Your Word and Spirit, open our hearts to receive You as the beloved Son sent from the Father so that we might always embrace suffering as the means by which we enter into Your glory; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Alfonso Espinosa is the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine, CA. He is also the author of two books: Faith That Sees Through the Culture and Faith That Engages the Culture.
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