It is an honor to serve the King of Kings alongside you all. This is truly a blessed generation that we have been born into; and I say that of every age represented in this house.
We have been given the baton of responsibility to build upon the walls that generations before us have labored over. They have yielded themselves like a stone to the Builder’s hammer and chisel. The strength of the wall depends on how well fitted each stone is to the one next to and beneath it. The only one qualified to fit them together is the Builder Himself. Each stone is unique in shape and character as He chooses. If one stone being laid in the wall does not like the shape of the one next to it, what is the Master Mason supposed to do? The strength of the building is dependent on the seamless fit of one stone to the next. Is the stone qualified to determine where and how it fits in the wall? Is the stone qualified to determine the shape or place of the stone next to it? God is building a House for Himself unlike anything the earth has seen and we are the living stones that He is using to fashion it.
Jesus is the cornerstone of the building.
The scripture is the blueprint and the Holy Spirit is The Builder. The Father inhabits the House that the Holy Spirit is building. The House is patterned after a divine Blueprint that is as unchanging as the One who drew it and the Cornerstone is the standard from which every stone laid in the wall is fashioned. The Builder alone knows the Blueprint and the Cornerstone. He alone is burdened with the precision fit of every stone to the standard that Jesus set. The Cornerstone is unchanging, but the stones laid next to it must change. These are not lifeless stones, but living stones that must willingly submit to the Spirit’s shaping, not only of itself, but the one next to it.
So in the building process, how do we endure one another’s rough edges?
The same way the Cornerstone of the house did: by absorbing them.
Grace is the mortar that fills in the gaps between the stones as they are being shaped.
And we must choose for that grace.
Jesus extended the highest form of grace when He forgave those who put Him on the cross. And who put Him on the cross? We did. That is the standard that we, the living stones, are held to. This is a living and active process. He is willing to extend grace to us as long as we extend it to one another!
You know the scriptures. If you don’t, then stop reading this and find them. Hunt for them. Search for them day and night. Bind yourself to them when you find them. Only the broken will find the grace hidden in them. Only the humble will be granted the immeasurable gift of grace offered them and only the humble can give grace extended to them. Living stones live in His grace and living stones alone can bear the weight of His presence.
This is the promise for the whole church, but will especially set apart the Latter Day Church. The one unlike any other the world has seen. The one inhabited by its Designer.
We can be living stones in a house of His making or ask Him to be a part of a house of our own making. The thing that should strike fear in our hearts is that He will honor either request.
We were asked as a church over the last 15 years or so to pursue the love of God consistent with the first of the two greatest commandments. He has now been calling us to add to that the second of those two commandments: to love one another.
We cannot have one without the other.
The second commandment is the demonstration of the first, just as the cross was the demonstration of the Son’s love for His Father. Jesus was set as the Cornerstone from which everything is measured because “He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Phil 2:7).
So, where do you suppose our ambitions, expectations, and offenses fit into a house built by those standards?
This is no small thing to take up, because it means we sign up for the process that shapes living stones. There is only one way that happens. It means we lay down the hammer and chisel we use on one another and give it back to the only One who’s hands they fit and the only One qualified to use them. It means taking up the only tool we have been given…