The stone that was rejected by the builders
has become the cornerstone. Psalm 118:22
As the first stone laid in a masonry foundation, the cornerstone determines the building’s position since all other stones are set in reference to it. Even though we’ve just lived through the renovation of Kirklea, many of us may not have given any consideration to the building’s cornerstone. Selection of the cornerstone is a very important decision in the construction of a building. Builders do not want to set as their foundation an imperfect stone that will compromise the integrity of the building.
This analogy from Jesus shows that even though something is different and because of that difference is rejected, it can still be very important. We’re told in Scripture that Jesus embraced the tax collectors and the prostitutes, the fallen of his world who had been rejected by the religious authorities of the day. For those among us who feel marginalized, whether we’re school age or grown up, we can apply this to our lives and find comfort. In Lent, this reminds us all in the moments when we are feeling left out that Jesus walks with us. Even if you’re excluded right now by a peer group, that doesn’t mean that you will always be excluded by them.
Psalm 118 is a song of thanksgiving. The psalmist praises God for His selection of the rejected stone: “by the Lord has this has been done; it is wonderful in our eyes” (Ps 118:23). Jesus’s occupation as carpenter makes literal his concern to build his Church on earth. On Good Friday, he will select Peter as the cornerstone of his Church. As we, the St Paul’s Ivy community, seek and call our next Rector, this passage can remind us to look for the one who can speak to all of us, regardless of where we are on our faith journey.