The crucial part of an ancient building was not all the stones of the foundation but the cornerstone which held the foundation stones together. The first stone that was laid was the cornerstone, by which every other stone in the foundation and building was measured. It was the corner-stone that enabled the foundation to bear the weight of the building, because it prevented the foundation stones becoming loose.
The cornerstone in the church’s foundation is Jesus and on him the temple of God is being built. As I thought about the various stones that are added to the building, the following ideas came to mind from the illustration.
First, each stone is shaped by God and placed by him in the building. He finds the stone in a quarry of sin and prepares it for insertion in the building.
Second, each stone is dependent on Jesus Christ. This is not only true for entrance into the building but also for existence in the building. Our ongoing functions in the church are made possible by Jesus Christ.
Third, each stone is essential. What would the building look like if a stone was missing? There would be a gap in a row for example, and a missing stone would detract from its beauty. Each stone in itself is beautiful and contributes to the overall beauty of the building.
Fourth, each stone cannot see all the other stones, although they are all linked together. In a sense we only see the stones that are around us, so in a sense they are the ones about whom we should be concerned mainly.