At church yesterday, this question was posed, “Is Jesus the cornerstone of our lives?”
We were asked to consider those things we could not do without in our lives, then pounced on by a microphone wielding vicar. The words she gathered were written on shoeboxes which were stacked into a column at the front of the church.
There was: friendship, food, health, home, humour, music, authenticity to name a few.
The point to this audience participation, replete with visual aid, was this: when all these earthly essentials are stripped away, Jesus is our cornerstone, our foundation, the bedrock of our faith. It is easy saying this, sat here in the warmth and comfort of my home, and the security of the place I live. However, the true test of faith is in the doing, in adversity, as Jesus showed us. When we are oppressed, when we are persecuted, when we are being tortured, when we are seriously ill, when our voice is being taken away from us, when we feel there is nothing left, there is always Jesus. This is when we truly realise He is our cornerstone, and through Him all things are possible. How comforting it is, though, to know this, to truly appreciate this fact, in our everyday lives, every second, of every day, rather than waiting, and often dreading, adversity to strike?
When I prayed as I woke, about whether I should or should not attend church this Sunday morning, this prayer came to me. I hope you do not mind me sharing it with you?
Thank you for today.
Help me to see the rain through this pain
your life sustaining rain.
When my faith is all I have left
you remind me that is all I need
when I offer the gift of love to myself and others
your unconditional love for me
Which is easier said than done, Lord.
Words must be supported and encouraged by actions.
Words and actions which teach me about myself
and lead me closer to you in thought, prayer and deed.
All the things I feel are missing in my life
all my gifts that I feel are stagnating
help me to offer them to others today and everyday:
those people I know;
those people I think I know;
those people I do not want to know;
but, most importantly, those people in distress and despair
whom I will never know unless I make an effort to get to know them first.
And thank you for reminding me that
knowing comes from listening
while accepting and being non judgemental.
Only you judge, your son told us this, He came to save.
Help us to save ourselves and others through your never ending love.
This should I or should I not go to church prayer shows wonderful synchronicity, reveals God’s grace to me, which intensified in the Sunday morning service’s intercessions (which were a different style than I had ever heard before at this church) when the following prayers were offered:
One by Saint Teresa of Avila:
Christ has no body now on earth but yours
no hands but yours
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
to look out on Christ’s compassion to the world.
Yours are the feet
with which he is to go about doing good
Yours are the hands
with which he is to bless people now.
And one by Michel Quoist (repeated here courtesy of GoodReads):
The moment this brick prayer was offered, these words appeared in my prayerful state:
Yes, we are all a brick. We are all important, from the high flying to the low lying, and we are all equal. We are all a brick, we are all equal to the next brick, our neighbouring brick, those beside us, those above us, and those below us. And down, down, down into the depths, into the darkness and the dampness, Jesus is our cornerstone. And this sand, cement and water, this mortar, joining us together, keeping us all connected, giving us the strength to stand upright, to stand tall, to stop us from falling apart, is the Holy Spirit.
Bible Passages referencing Jesus as our Cornerstone:
Job 38:6, Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 19:13, Isaiah 28:16, Jeremiah 51:26, Zechariah 10:4, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:6 and 1 Peter 2:7.