I’ve been thinking a lot about church foundations this week. And church windows. And church roofs. We really got hammered here at St. James this week, as you can see from our boarded up windows.
When the hailstorm struck I was here alone, and it was like being inside a drum that was being pounded. I stood back there by the door to the Parish Hall and watched in horror as the shattered glass went flying across the room. Every window that broke was like a smack across the cheek to me. It was as if someone I loved was under attack, and I wanted to protect St. James.
Because while in one sense it’s true that this is just a building, and that’s just glass, which can be replaced, in another sense, this is a holy place. It’s a holy structure. It’s a place we love and care about.
And in the midst of hailstorm and all its aftermath, I’ve been meditating on our Sunday's text from 1 Peter. "Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: "See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious..."
Christ is our cornerstone. I pray that Christ is woven into the fiber of this church. Woven not just into the building, but into its teaching, its worship, its work in the community. And you and I have been offered the wonderful honor of being part of this holy structure as well. We are the living stones that are placed on top of the sure foundation that Christ has laid.
Together, we build the church. Together, we ARE the church.
Sometimes, like our stained glass windows, we get shattered. Sometimes, like our roof, we get beaten and battered. But those conditions are temporary. They don’t have to define us forever. Because we have a sure foundation, no hailstorm – whether literal or figurative – will ever overcome us.
We have been chosen by God to do God’s work, to speak out for God, to tell others of the difference God has made in our lives. Who needs to hear that message this week? It’s our job to share it.