Ephesians 2:19-22; Luke 6:12-19
None of us is comfortable with feeling alienated from or left out of any group to which we belong. We are social beings and we crave human companionship. We need to feel that we belong, that we are part of the group. And so we need to be accepted, to hear others tell us and show us that we belong. In other words, we need reassurance. This is especially true of our relationship to almighty God. We need to know that we belong to God's family, that we are his friends, and that he loves us. We need the kind of reassurance that Paul gives to the people of Ephesus in today's scripture reading. We sometimes feel like strangers when we approach God. The Ephesians did too. We sometimes feel guilty and alienated from God. The Ephesians did too.
I find great comfort in thinking of myself as part of the building of which Paul speaks. It is a very strong and well built building. Like all strong buildings it needs a strong foundation. We often hear of buildings which collapse because the foundation was weak. The building to which we belong is not like that. It has a rock solid foundation, the apostles. By their lives of devoted service to the Lord and by their heroic deaths, the apostles began the building which is the Church. They provided a firm foundation for the building. Today we honor two of them, Simon and Jude.
The building is also very large. It has room for all of us who, like the apostles, know and follow the Lord. Beginning with the time of Christ, that is a very large number of people. But each and every one of us is an important part of the building. God knows and loves me and has a place for me in the building. He knows and loves each and every one of us, no matter how great the number. What a consoling revelation that is. That God knows and loves each and every individual who is part of his building, his Church.
And finally, there is the capstone. The capstone is the finishing stone, the crowning achievement of the whole building. The capstone of the building to which we belong is Christ himself. He began the building, and he gave it structure and shape and beauty. He is truly the builder who builds a place for all of us in the building. So, we are not strangers to the Lord. We live in his house, we are members of his family, the Church. He is our brother and he loves us. Together, we form a tremendous building in which each of us has a place. But our place in the building is known to the Lord, and he knows and loves us.
Today we have the opportunity to thank the Lord, the master builder, for all he has done for us. We can thank him for creating us and giving us a place in his Church.
By Tom Bannantine