On a recent songwriting retreat in Ireland, I found myself astounded at the beauty of the land. But what struck me most was something simple and common: stone walls. As we toured the countryside, we encountered miles upon miles of them used as fences and property lines and even incorporated into homes and churches.
Our tour guide explained that the stones were used so much because they were readily available. He shared about the art of making them all fit together, piecing imperfect objects into strong, lovely, useful things. When we passed his property, he told us the foundation of the walls was the work of his grandfather, the middle section was his father’s work, and the top portion was built by him. These walls represented generations!
Back home in Tennessee, I began reading scriptures about stones and, suddenly, these passages came to life like never before.
You are rising like the perfectly fitted stones of the temple; and your lives are being built up together upon the ideal foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, and best of all, you are connected to the Head Cornerstone of the building, the Anointed One, Jesus Christ himself! (Ephesians 2:20)
Come and be his “living stones” who are continually being assembled into a sanctuary for God. For now you serve as holy priests, offering up spiritual sacrifices that he readily accepts through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter. 2:5)
The very stone the masons rejected as flawed has turned out to be the most important capstone of the arch, holding up the very house of God. (Psalm 118:22)
For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. (1 Corinthians 12:20)
My friends, we are like these stones! When we make ourselves available, the master-builder will use us. Though we are imperfect and unique, there is a specific place where our giftings fit just right. Our differences are part of what helps us join together so beautifully.
Like the stone walls, our song is generational. The foundation was laid by the apostles and prophets. We are only continuing to build on what has already been—from the Psalms to the hymns to the laments and now worship, we join the song of the ages. Our songs, layer by layer, are assembling a sanctuary. Every stone leans toward our capstone, the centerpiece of it all. How amazing that we get to be a part of something so magnificent.
Lord, I want to be readily available to be used by You to build Your kingdom. Thank You for creating a place just for me. Help me to honor those who have been building for generations by continuing their beautiful work now. Will You awaken my gifts and callings and teach me that it’s safe to lean on my brothers and sisters who are leaning on You? May You always be the center. Amen.