From my home office, last week, I heard loud noises: Bang! Boom! BOOM! BOOOM!! After a time, and a lot more bangs and booms to follow, the old apartment house across the street from me was reduced to a pile of wood, nails and dust! It was remarkable how quickly and easily the building fell down with several swats of the excavator. The demolition, cleanup and debris removal went smoothly. So efficient was the clean up that you would have never known there was a building there previously if you were new to the area!
The building had a sad history. It had been vacant for several years. During that period, an upstairs apartment had been burned. The now open roof left the building exposed to several harsh seasons of weather. It was quite amazing that the building did not fall down on its own before the attack of excavator. Then I saw its foundation – the sturdiest part of the structure!
With a firm foundation, even the oldest, most crippled, raggedy of buildings can remain standing longer than anyone could figure. On the other hand, the most well built structures will fall, if their foundations have been poorly built. Suffice it to say, the foundation is the most important part of a building. The foundation is a part of a building, usually below the ground, that transfers and distributes the weight of the building onto the ground (Encarta).
The Foundation of a building was important in Bible times as well. Jesus spoke metaphorically about the foundation. In Matthew chapter 7, Jesus likens: “listening to, and following His word” to building on a solid rock foundation. (Matt. 7:24). Scripture speaks about Jesus being the “cornerstone.” When we think about a cornerstone in this culture, we might think of a symbolic piece of masonry featuring the date the building was completed. In Jesus day, the cornerstone was very significant – essential to the alignment and the proper construction of the building. The cornerstone is “the first stone laid at a corner where two walls begin and form the first part of a new building.” The cornerstone set the direction for the rest of the building.
Followers of Jesus, are likened to a spiritual building -Jesus being the cornerstone. This is a helpful metaphor as we are in relationship with Jesus and each other. A house without Jesus is a house that lacks proper direction. A house without Jesus is a house that lacks the foundation.
In your life, who really anchors you? Who directs your decisions? Who really informs your present and future plans? Is Jesus presence in your life symbolic or real? During Lent, we need to think about these questions. Jesus, as the cornerstone enables us to weather the stormy times of life and he guides and directs our purpose and plans.