cornerstone

Psalm Photos – 118 – Cornerstone

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Faith, Grace, Journey, Psalms

Psalm 118

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.

With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me?

The Lord is on my side to help me; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in mortals.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

They surrounded me like bees; they blazed like a fire of thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.

The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.

There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;

the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”

I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.

The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.

The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

——

I can’t seem to get away from rocks being object lessons. First it started with my spiritual director and going back to a rock that I referenced many Psalms back and then it continued with what I preached on Easter Sunday. Then when I headed to a conference a week later, rocks figured prominently once again. Leading into each worship service we were to take a rock from a basket and hold onto it as a part of our experience. This rock was one that I picked up 3 services in a row and I figured there was a message in there. It also fits perfectly into my left hand with my thumb on the flat portion next to the piece that juts up. But its not a pretty rock…there’s nothing remarkable about it – its just a rock and a rough one at that. But it fit me and my remembrances of how I am an unfinished work in Christ – a continual process of God working to smooth out the rough spots. In this Psalm, it speaks of a stone that was rejected becoming the chief cornerstone. 1 Peter 2:7 refers back to this Psalm in speaking of Jesus but also calling his readers to a new, holier form of living…

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
For it stands in scripture:

“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner,”
and
“A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

This stone sits now on my desk alongside others that speak to other moments in my faith life of the process that God is continually working on and in me – molding and shaping me into the person that God desires me to be.

—-

Also a note about the next few weeks’ entries. Tomorrow, I move into Psalm 119 – the longest Psalm (and chapter) in the Bible. 174 verses. It is a Psalm that in the original Hebrew is an acrostic based upon the Hebrew alphabet. Starting with the first letter, Aleph, the first lines in each of the sections begins with that letter of the Hebrew alphabet. So, I will be following each letter of the alphabet for the next 22 days.

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