THE service at Crediton Methodist Church on Sunday, April 21 was led by Cathy Jerrard whose theme was “cornerstones”.

Cathy asked us to think of something we had thrown away but which later we wished we had kept.

In Acts 4 we read that Peter and John healed a lame man. They had been telling everyone about the resurrection of Jesus and 5,000 men (plus women?) had decided to follow Jesus.

Peter and John were arrested and spent the night in a cell before being brought before the Sanhedrin, comprised of Chief Priests, Pharisees, Sadducees and officials who demanded to know by whose name they had performed the healing. 

We read that “Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit” and he replied “be it known that this man was healed in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead”.

This Jesus said “the stone which was rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. There is salvation in no-one else – there is no other name by which we must be saved”.

This was a quote from the Old Testament which the Chief Priests would have recognised from Psalms and Isiah who prophesied that the Messiah would come as the cornerstone. 

The Sadducees did not believe in the possibility of resurrection from the dead.

The Chief Priests had plotted to arrest Jesus and handed him over to Pilot.  There is no wonder they were upset and annoyed by what Peter and John were saying. 

The court officials recognised that Peter and John were ordinary men. They were amazed at how they were speaking. When they saw the healed man they had nothing to say in opposition.

Now let us look at cornerstones. They have something to teach us about Jesus:

Firstly, a cornerstone is a solid foundation - one of the largest stones and a solid base on which to build a structure. It is the foundation stone. Cathy showed a photo of the Leaning Tower of Pisa which, because it was built on marshy ground with foundations of only 10 feet deep, is now leaning 17 feet out of line. 

There is no doubt that a solid foundation is fundamental to any building project – without one we are sunk.  There is no better foundation to build our lives upon than Jesus the cornerstone.

When Peter used the reference to cornerstone he quoted Isiah 28 “look I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem - a firm and precious cornerstone that is safe to build on a sure foundation and whoever believes will never be shaken”.

Secondly, a cornerstone is used for alignment to guide workers in the construction of buildings so that all the other stones are truly aligned.

As our cornerstone, Jesus can be our standard and measure of alignment because He is perfectly aligned with God.

Jesus provides a reliable reference point for us to God. God has a plan and purpose for each one of us if we remain in line with Him and He will reveal His purpose for us. 

Thirdly, the cornerstone can be a reminder chiselled with dates or names of builders or founders.  Cathy showed a stone laid outside an American church which reads “Jesus Christ the Chief Cornerstone”.

Members of the Sanhedrin rejected Jesus as the true cornerstone. They refused to recognise the transformational power of accepting Jesus as their foundation which would have given their lives true direction and purpose.

Maybe they were not prepared to give up power and control of their lives.  They threw away what was of inestimable value without realising the worth because they were Sad U See (!!!!)

Peter and John were changed men – their lives were wholly founded on Jesus the cornerstone. They were bold and fearless and filled with the Holy Spirit

In the reading from 1 Peter 2 we read “You are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple”.

Cathy said we are all living stones and Christ unifies us with God.  There is no stone that He cannot use and no stones will be cast aside. We are all part of the worldwide church. 

Each person in church wrote their names of a pieces of paper or “brick” and the names of those people on line were also written on bricks.

All the bricks were then brought out and made into a wall with Jesus as the cornerstone. “Christ alone cornerstone – weak made strong in the Saviour’s love”.                                                                                                                                              

Bronwyn Nott