Day 4

He Is Our Cornerstone

from the Ephesians reading plan


Ephesians 2:11-22, Galatians 3:23-29, 6:15, Psalm 118:22, 1 Corinthians 3:16

BY Rebecca Faires

It’s so tough that we have to live with people.

I mean, we would be so lonely without them, but it’s hard to get along, you know? My family is seven people. Seven mouths to feed, fourteen feet to shoe, one-hundred-forty fingernails and toenails to trim, and a million ideas about the purpose of a Saturday. It’s complicated. Even if you don’t have that many folks under your roof, it’s hard to keep the peace anytime we’re forced to rub shoulders with other imperfect humans.

Even when times are so good, unity can be so hard. I always expected family life, or roommate life, to just feel like a basket of kittens. So why aren’t we all adorably snuggling and saying meow, meow already?

The early church had the same problems with unity that we have today. Paul tries to halt their squabbling by reminding them of this key truth: Christ is the cornerstone. Obviously your house is going to fall down if it’s not built on the cornerstone. Unity is enormously difficult, and the only way to have unity with each other is through Christ.

Because the folks in Ephesus were so busy slapping and kicking each other in the shins over whether or not circumcision is the one true way to salvation, Paul uses metaphors to get their attention and gives them a veritable technicolor slideshow of unity.

Paul actually uses illustrations like this a lot in his letters, to deepen our understanding of our relationship to each other in Christ. Look how many I found with only a quick, cursory search:

Together, in Christ, we are:

  • a holy sanctuary (Ephesians 2:21, 1 Corinthians 3:16)
  • a body (Ephesians 2:15)
  • a city (Ephesians 2:19)
  • a family (Ephesians 2:19, Galatians 3:26, 29)
  • covered (Galatians 3:27)
  • sons, not slaves (Galatians 3:23-26)
  • a creation (Galatians 6:15)

Whew! As I noticed that Paul really rolled out the whole barrel of metaphors, I realized this concept of unity in Christ must require more than just passing consideration. It demands real attention to the texture of this truth, like we could comprehend more if we examine it from different angles. Let’s look at three of these pictures of unity together today.

I am most intrigued by the picture of us as family in Christ (Ephesians 2:19). The issue of seamless family connection has always plagued me because I, like many of you, come from a home of divorce. So my family isn’t tidy or shiny; it’s funny and sometimes awkward. But Paul is saying we are “members of the household of God.” We have a rightful place, together, in Him.

I’m also fascinated to think of us as a holy sanctuary (Ephesians 2:21). We are joined together to make a holy temple for the Lord. Together we are a place that is set apart, a place that God loves. It’s amazing.

Finally, we can see our unity in the image of the city (Ephesians 2:19). I really like this one. In a city, everyone does different jobs, but it works because we are pulling together, just like we learned on Sesame Street. Except this unity works because we are in Christ—not because we are motivated by civic duty.

God brought the Jews and the Gentiles together. He’s still doing it today. He’s bringing the Hatfields and the McCoys together. He’s bringing me and my crazy family together. It’s super messy and complicated. Honestly, it’s horribly messy.

Here we are, and God wants us all to be His people. Me, you, and your lunatic uncle. How can we all come together? In Christ. Christ is our cornerstone. We build on Him. He is the only source of unity.

Before you get out your mortar and trowel to start building, remember that unity comes from the Lord, and it is begun and completed by Him. We can’t achieve unity by our good work or our hard work—but He achieves it by His grace!

Lord, bring unity to our families and our communities. Give us the humility to see that our hands aren’t enough to build the Kingdom, but that your hands have already built it. You are our cornerstone, and “in you we are made one” (John 17:22).

 

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Post Comments (83)

83 thoughts on "He Is Our Cornerstone"

  1. DAH says:

    "Here we are, and God wants us all to be His people. Me, you, and your lunatic uncle."

    Preach!

    This was a great devotional and reminder. God wants us all to be his people even the difficult people in our lives. Lord help us to have your vision for this world and your people. Give us your heart.

  2. Gema Muniz says:

    Psalms 127:1
    1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
        the builders labor in vain.
    Unless the Lord watches over the city,
        the guards stand watch in vain.

    This verse came to me while reading today’s devotional. Only through God can we have unity amongst each other, this is so true. This is a statement that I hold on to every day. As children of God we are called to be at peace with one another, but let’s be honest is so hard to do. We let our egos get in the way and always want to be right lol. My husband and I have similar personalities which causes us to bump heads at times. During these times this verse is what forces me to reconsider and change my attitude. Is not easy for us to achieve this but with God everything is possible. God bless you all sisters.

  3. Linnea says:

    Thank you for reminding me that my biggest mission field is my own home. My husband is now looking for a new job and under my feet all the time. He is very focused on himself and this a great opportunity for me to show Christ’s love

  4. Shauna Thomas says:

    I actually am a McCoy. That’s my maiden name… and I really am in the bloodline of the historical “Hatfields and McCoys.” I know this comment is completely unspiritual in nature, but I couldn’t resist. Any Hatfields out there? Cause we’re sisters in Christ, no matter what the history books say.

  5. Megan says:

    Thank you for the great reminder of unity. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with feeling like I’m not supporting my Christian brethren or promoting the faith because I haven’t seen all the Christian films that have been coming out. I’m glad that they’re out there and offering inspiration to others, but I just have no desire to see them. For this I have felt very ashamed and worried that they’re might be deeper reasons why I don’t want to see those movies. I’m not sure what to do with these feelings other than pray for guidance. Do any of you ladies have any input or similar feelings?

    1. Alison Elizabeth says:

      I do! I don’t dig a lot of Christian music today anymore…and I don’t like to do only Christian things. I’ve found that it makes me unnecessarily pious and self-righteous. I think that you’re missing the point of the gospel if you only do Christian things. That being said, what’s your motive and where is your guilt stemming from?

      1. Megan says:

        I’m not sure where the guilt comes from. I think I just worry that I’m not doing everything I can to support the faith. Thank you so much for your response though. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

      2. Alison Elizabeth says:

        Supporting the faith is deepening your relationship with Christ and sharing that with others around you. Being a Christian is not an agenda to be carried out. Keep that in mind and I don’t think the guilt will be there. And no, we’re not the only ones!! :)

    2. ClaireB says:

      I get the movie thing. Mainly it is expensive! I see a select few movies each year. I will watch War Room but it will have to be Red Box or Netflix. Then if it isn’t good I have wasted $30. I hope good Christian entertainment does well but it might not be on my dime

  6. Hailey says:

    Great truths and devo. Loved her humor :)

  7. Frances says:

    Unity is hard, especially with some people. But that’s what we’re called to do. There’s people in mind that I definitely need to work on this with. Thanks for the reminder!

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