Meditation on Psalm 118


“The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone”

I want to think about the builders. Humans are the builders. God is a maker—things “come into being” at his command, but I don’t think he is portrayed building. Jesus says he can “rebuild the Temple”, but he is a human, too.

Humans built the Temple. Humans built the Tower of Babel. What does building represent? We build for protection because we are fragile (houses, forts). We build for worship, trying to honor but also to contain our God (The Temple, the three buildings the disciples proposed for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah). And we build to aggrandize ourselves (Tower of Babel, pyramids). God doesn’t need to do any of these things, so he doesn’t need to build. Builders, then, are humans.

And Builders are in the Rejection Business. They pick and choose, rejecting offhand any material that doesn’t please them. A flaw in a stone?—Out. A prophet that lays it on the line?—Beheaded. A messiah that doesn’t fight Romans?—Crucified.

Our ability to judge puts us in the rejection business. This immediately sets us against God who is in the Mercy Business. We want to throw things out. God wants to redeem them from the scrap heap and put them to good use, foundational use.

Humans like competition because it lets us choose ONE (the winner) and throw out THE REST. The rest are marvelously made, but because of the accident of being in competition with the ONE, they go onto the scrap heap. This is the way humans think.

God does not think this way. When he sees ALL he has created, he declares it ALL VERY GOOD—none of it belongs on a scrap heap. That is why he keeps sending himself to us in love, telling us we are his, we are good, we are loved, and asking us to stop rejecting all the time. When we all hear this message, the Kingdom of God will be fully here.

Dear Lord, help me to stop rejecting and to see the rejection of ME for what it is—a human thing.

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