Blogging from Kansas City: Thursday

“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”  Psalm 118:22-23

My dear, dear, Mennonite brothers and sisters, my people, my tribe.  All week long at this Convention we’ve been hearing about the Emmaus road story.  How the risen Jesus appeared to two distraught travelers, and “interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.”  The passage from Psalm 118:22 appears no less than six times in the New Testament and served as one of the central scriptures through which the early church, and perhaps Jesus himself, interpreted the meaning of Christ.

“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”  The builders carefully select the rocks they will use for the structure they are building, choosing the ones that fit just right row on row, stones with a similar shape and size to fit the established pattern.  The odd shaped stone that will not fit is tossed aside and rejected or, perhaps, crucified.

For the last 14 years Mennonite Church USA has been building its house.  In doing so we have rejected the stones that do not fit our established pattern.  The odd shaped stone, the one we can’t find a place for, the stone we don’t understand, the queer stone, is thrown to the side and rejected.

The house is showing signs of cracking and on Thursday we attempted to shore up this structure by once again assuring ourselves that we are building with the right kind of stones.  We reaffirmed that the stone we have rejected still has no place of official blessing among us.

Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared.”  The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  You’re missing out on the beautiful and sacred home God is building among you – a space of hospitality and welcome.  A place of celebration and blessing.  It’s already happening.  The old fortress is crumbling.

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

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