Every Sunday for almost 60 years, someone has gotten up on the pulpit of our church and commenced service by exclaiming, “This is the day that God has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Although many know that this verse is from Psalm 118, few are familiar with its context. Strangely enough, this powerful proclamation was made in response to the builders of the temple rejecting a stone that ultimately became the cornerstone. But what does this have to do with being joyful? To better understand, it’s helpful to picture a group of architects and builders standing around picking out the most perfect and pristine stones from a pile. The ones they choose will be used to lay the foundation of the building, so they’re quite discriminating in their decision-making. After picking those they deem best, they leave the rest and move on. However, unbeknownst to them, someone goes back and takes the most gnarly and strangely-shaped rock in the lot and secretly lays it down as the cornerstone — the one that will support all the others. When they find out, they’re upset and confused, but by that time, there’s nothing they can do to change it. If you haven’t guessed by now, this analogy foreshadows the supremacy of the forthcoming Jesus, who was despised and rejected by men but favored by God. However, it also references the principle that with Him, things that were once unseen, broken, and forsaken are actually at the center of a divine plan and purpose. When outward appearance ceases being the primary criteria for human judgement, people move closer to the Lord’s heart, and that’s a reason for rejoicing!
My friend, with Jesus, your rejection can become joy! Even if you’ve been told that you’re unlovable, different, or that you’ll never fit in, your Savior sees beyond the external, and He cherishes what’s in your heart. The Lord specializes in taking that which looks gnarly and useless in the eyes of the world and laying it as the cornerstone of your happiness. With Him, brokenness begets something beautiful and weakness shines forth as strength in a way that draws others to His glorious light radiating through the flaws and cracks.