- Acts 2:39-47
- 1 Peter 2:2-10
Early Thoughts: On what is our community based? What is the foundation on which we stand or fall?
Christianity (like many other traditions) is largely about how we live together in community. One of the claims of scripture (both in the Gospels and in this reading from 1 Peter) is that Jesus, the Christ, is our cornerstone. How does that tie in to our understanding of community?
Dictionary.com, a cornerstone could be a ceremonial thing (we have one of those on our building). These ceremonial cornerstones are (or at least used to be, I am not sure how common a practice this is anymore) placed as part of a celebration for the new building. Sometimes a time capsule would be sealed in the stone as part of the ceremony. Is that what Jesus is for us? Something ceremonial?
I think not.
I think that when we look at Jesus as a cornerstone we look at other definitions:
3. something that is essential, indispensable, or basic: The cornerstone of democratic government is a free press.This is what we mean when we say that Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith. Jesus is foundational, essential, indispensable. Without the Risen Christ as our living cornerstone Christianity crumbles. Without paying attention to the teachings of Jesus our understanding of how to live in a Christian community is unstable.
4. the chief foundation on which something is constructed or developed: The cornerstone of his argument was that all people are created equal.
Then there is the Acts passage. A vision of what it means to live in community (though now we would call it living communally). Now the Acts community didn't entirely work, there are other stories in the book which make that plain. But it is a vision. And I think it also speaks to something foundational. To be a Christian community is to live in a way that supports each other -- in a variety of ways. To be a Christian community meant striving to ensure there are no "have nots" among us. And I would say that these foundational principles grow out of the teachings of Jesus (and the Jewish tradition from which he came).
So what is our cornerstone? On what does our foundation rest?