The Stone and the Holy House: A Parable on Christ's Holy Temple...the Church

There once was a stone.  This stone wasn’t a particularly large stone and it was rather oddly shaped.  It was kind triangular in its shape, but not a beautifully well proportioned triangle or an exotic triangle with sharp lines, but it was only somewhat triangular in its shape.  It had one really jagged edge and one dull, rounded edge, and it was somewhat concaved in the middle.

This stone wasn’t a particularly beautiful stone either.  It wasn’t distinctly black or white, but grayish.  And it didn’t have any reflective qualities, but it was rather dull.

This stone wasn’t particularly large, it was oddly shaped, and dull. 

It was not a special stone.

And yet, it was a special Stone. 

The Stone knew both of these things to be true, that it wasn’t a special stone and yet that it was.  It was special, not because of any particular quality that it had or because it stood out amongst other stones, but because it had been chosen by the Builder.

The Builder had picked up this stone, a long time ago, when it had been in the middle of the road.  This stone had caused many people to trip and stumble over the years. It truly was a nuisance. 
So when, on that all important day, the Builder saw the stone in the road and stooped low to pick it up, the stone was convinced that the Builder would simply throw it from the road and into the dreadful lake, where the stone would remain for the rest of time.

But to its surprise, the stone wasn’t thrown away.  The builder picked it up in His scarred hands and carried the stone over to the stream.  The Builder took the stone and placed it under the water of the stream once, twice, then a third time…as He cleaned it and polished it with His hands. 

Then the Builder carried the stone over to a fantastically large and beautiful building that looked like a fortress, but it was far too beautiful to merely be a fortress.  This building was made up of countless stones and this stone could see that the stones were of all kinds.  There were black stones and white stones, grayish stones, glittering stones and dull stones.  There were stones that were square and strong looking and stones that were slender and frail in appearance.  But every stone had been placed…no…not just placed…but arranged in such a way that the stones fit together perfectly.  Or so it appeared.

This smallish, dull stone felt as if there was no way it could ever fit into such a grand building.
But the Builder carried the stone over to a part of the grand building that clearly wasn’t yet complete.  And the Builder, with care and skill set this stone onto some other stones.

The stone fit the space well, but it was somewhat uncomfortable.  Then the builder picked up the stone and with a tool the stone had never seen before, but it looked like a sword. Then the builder chipped off an edge of the stone.  The stone hadn’t expected that and didn’t like it…at first.  But after a while the stone began to understand that by chipping away, the Builder was actually making the stone to be what it had been intended to be from the start.

Now the builder again arranged the stone into the midst of the other stones as He had done before. This time the stone fit a little bit better.  But not perfectly.  The stone was still uncomfortable.

When the Builder had left, the stone began to feel more uncomfortable.  It didn’t fit in quite right and it began to squirm.  The stones it had been placed on and next to also began to squirm a bit.  They too had only recently been placed into the wall by the Builder.

“I’m uncomfortable” said the stone beneath. 
“I’m not sure this is working,” said the stone on the right. 
“Maybe the Builder made a mistake in placing me here,” said the oddly shaped, grayish stone.

But from down below came another voice.  This voice had a maturity to it…a strength.  “The Builder didn’t make a mistake.  He never does.”

The voice continued, “I know it’s uncomfortable right now, but that’s because you are still being fitted together.  The Builder will use the water of rain to wear away at your and as that water works on you, you will soon find yourself joined more closely together than you could have ever imagined.  Right now, you are a part of this building, but it doesn’t feel right.  You’re used to being alone.  You don’t yet know what it is to be joined together so closely that you think of yourself far more as part of the building than as a stone.”

The voice from below explained that it too had once been found by the Builder.  This stone had been in a field and had dulled and broken many plows in its time.  But the Builder had found it, dug it out of the ground, and brought it here many years ago.  Over time it had come to understand that the Builder was taking worthless stones, working on them, joining them together, and making something beautiful from them.

Our oddly shaped grayish stone knew it was special because the Builder had chosen it, worked on it, and lovingly placed it into this beautiful building.  Over the years the stone had seen that this building provided shelter to weary wanderers.  It had provided escape from storms for men, women, and children.  It had seen the Builder invite people in, care for them, and help them.  The stone know that it couldn’t provide shelter to anyone on its own, but because of the Builder, this stone…working together with countless others…was able to provide shelter, protection, and safety to many people. 

The stone also came to realize that this beautiful building wasn’t a fortress, but the very home of the Builder.  The Builder hadn't just chosen the stone to build a well or to use a walking path, but to be a part...if only a small part...of the very dwelling place of the Builder. 

The stone wasn’t a special stone…and yet it was…because it was part of a special building; the Builder's house. 

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Here is a sermon I preached using this parable. 


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