Cornerstone Considerations

Sunday May 10, 2020 Fifth Sunday of Easter (Cycle A)

The tie in between today’s readings: The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Psalm 33:1-5;18-19, Acts 6:1-7, 1 Peter 2:4-9, John 14:1-12

One of the chief objections that I find people have to Christianity is its insistence on Jesus being the sole access to the Father. In a world of clichés like: “There are many paths to God, Life is what you make of it, and You have your truth, I have mine” Jesus’ declaration in John 12:6 that He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, grates on them like fingernails on a blackboard. After all, who does He think He is? Not willing to refute Christ head on, they’ll soften His statements with slanting interpretations and work arounds, so that in the end, the Master seems to have agreed with their relativism all along. Whatever helps them sleep at night! What helps the true believer sleep at night is the bedrock assurance that Jesus is all that He says He is.

Because Jesus is Truth, He cannot tell a lie…ever! So, when today’s gospel John 14:1-12 opens with, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled,” we can have peace. The disciples also needed to hear this at the Last Supper. Jesus had just dropped a bombshell on them. He told them that Judas would betray Him, Peter would deny Him, and that He was leaving them. Reassurance was paramount! He tells them that He is going to His Father’s house to prepare a place and that He’ll return for them (vs 2-3). Truth! While He is gone, His believers will do even greater works than He did (vs12). Truth! This will all be possible because of the way where He is going (vs 4). Truth! Because…He is the Way.

The way of the Son is the way of the Father (vs 10-11). The way of the Father was for His Son to go to the cross. The Son obeyed because, as we see in the Garden of Gethsemane and in the Our Father, it was always “Thy will be done” for Him. Jesus fulfilled His mission as the Lamb of God and took away the sins of the world. Faith in the Lord Jesus places us in Christ for this salvation (1 Corinthians 1:21). We aren’t shown a way. We don’t follow a way. Jesus, Himself, is the Way to God…there is no other. Being in Christ gives us the ability to show the Father to the world just as Jesus did (John 14:7-11), because we now have the life of Christ in us (Galatians 2:20).

He is the Life. He is our life. We are raised to new spiritual life by the Holy Spirit through His sacrifice. God places the Holy Spirit in us through Jesus and makes each of us a temple that God abides in.  So, Jesus gives us eternal life and goes to prepare a place for us to live with God. He also prepares a place for God’s life in us. Our reading in 1 Peter 2:4-9 tells us that Jesus is the living foundation cornerstone for God’s temple, His Body, the Church. We are living stones in that temple that we may be set apart as God’s own people. How does that look?

Our reading in Acts 6:1-7, opens with trouble in paradise. The church is growing, but favoritism is showing up in the distribution of food between the native Jewish widows over the others. To solve this problem, the Apostles set up the first deacon board. They were to be wise men of good reputation and full of the Holy Spirit.  Seven men were selected out of the congregation. They were prayed over and the Apostles laid hands on them in preparation. What was their groundbreaking task? They served tables. A first principle shows up here. All jobs, everything in life is spiritual. What ever we do we do unto the Lord because in serving others we serve our God. If Jesus can wash feet, nothing is beneath us. As it turns out, one of these men, Stephen, gives a great testimony of faith in Christ and becomes the first martyr. This incident sets off a chain reaction in the life of a man named Saul, who takes upon himself to persecute the people of the Way (Christians) and later meets Jesus in a vision on the road to Damascus. He becomes the great Apostle Paul. The second principle is that we represent God by what we say and we never know who’s listening. Stephen’s story can also be an example of someone doing a greater work than Jesus as he played his part in adding many souls to the Church through Saul’s conversion since Jesus only had about one hundred twenty believers when He ascended into heaven pre-Pentecost.

Considering all this, it’s time to see where we stand concerning Jesus. God the Father has laid Him as a solid and immovable cornerstone. We must submit to His blueprint if we want to build on Him. Many in the world reject the absolute claims Christ imposes. They use their own plans (truth) to erect their own building (way) and endeavor to live in it (life). The Bible says that Jesus is the only foundation and all other constructions will collapse. Let us come to the Way, the Truth, and the Life and bow before Him as our Lord and Savior. Let’s be members of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, as it says in 1 Peter 2:9. So that, as he concludes, we may proclaim the praises of the God who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Today’s reading, Psalm 33:1-5;18-19, is a great example of that praise:

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
19 To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.

The only question left is, can you handle the Truth?

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