Like Living Stones

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 2:1-9

As you come to him, a living stone. (v. 4)

My father was a brick mason, so I learned very early in life the difference between headers and stretchers, and between closers and bats. And if I learned anything at all, I certainly learned the meaning of a cornerstone. Set the cornerstone right and the wall will be straight and true. Mislay the cornerstone and the strength, function, and beauty of a wall is in jeopardy. Knowing just this little bit about bricklaying, it isn't difficult to imagine why Peter would conceive of Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone.

What is remarkable is that Peter not only urges us to be built into the same wall of which Jesus is the chief cornerstone, he clearly imagines it is possible for us to reject him. But how desperately foolish that would be! From him we gain our strength, our function, and our beauty. Without him we would be misshapen, dysfunctional, and hideous to look at. Anything that diminishes Jesus Christ diminishes the church. And if Peter imagined it possible for believers of his day to reject the chief cornerstone, how much more likely is it today?

In his book Orthodoxy, English wit G. K. Chesterton said poignantly of Christians, “It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands” (p. 186). Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone, who is precious in the eyes of the Lord is that one true angle. With him we stand; without him we fall!


Give us humility, Lord, to stand with Jesus Christ.