Cornerstones: the symbols and realities of faith!
Last week, I walked by the the former Verdun United Church that was sold in 2007 to the Buddhist Benevolence Association. It has since been resold to another Temple and continues to be used for worship. It is no longer ours; we have moved into a new reality of worship and ministry over the last 11 years. I paused and looked at the cornerstone:
That memorial stone is still there and remains a witness to the work of our forefathers and mothers who built that building, worshipped and lived their faith. There are many local cornerstones of our history: Chalmers (Church Ave), St Lawrence (LaSalle), Eglise Béthanie (Wellington), St Paul (Cote St Paul) and Crawford Park now SouthWest.
When Jesus said: I am the bread of life, the bread that God gives is he who comes from heaven and gives life (John 6: 33,35) he invited people hearing him to go from the Manna they received in the desert to hearing him, God’s Son, as living bread. It is not an easy thing to see beyond the symbols to a living faith that leads us from our past histories into an ongoing and living relationship.
When some bemoan the state of the church, the changes to our institutions or losses we experience I look not to the brick and mortar of buildings but rather a living Christ inviting us to journey together in faith.
I look from the cornerstones of our history to the one who is the Cornerstone of our faith, Jesus Christ. (see Acts 4: 1-10, 1 Peter 2: 4-8, Romans 9:33).
Samuel Stone wrote a hymn in 1866, The Church's One Foundation, that Laurence Stookey adapted in 1983. It affirms that faith is what remains always vibrant, alive and moving forward through the ages. Faith roots us in the changes of addresses or buildings.
The Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord,
We are his new creation, by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought us, that we might ever be
his living servant people, by his own death set free.
et en français:
L'église universelle a pour roc Jésus Christ;
elle est l'oeuvre nouvelle que sa parole fit.
Habitant le ciel même, il vint se l'attacher,
et, par un don suprême,mourut pour la sauver!
Blessings on each us in a growing, sustaining faith.