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May, 14 2017

5th Sunday of Easter (A)

Rev. P. Del Staigers

Buildings are just that – buildings.  Aside from technical laws of physics, buildings are not alive.          Buildings are inanimate. They often make a statement by their very presence, but they most often make a statement about the people who gather and use them.

The Pet Rocks craze of the 1970’s started out as a joke, and the fad made millions of dollars. At any rate, anybody who bought a pet rock knew that it was not really alive, and so was not really a pet.

Being a member of “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own” offers us an entirely new perspective  about buildings. Allowing ourselves to “be built into a spiritual house” makes the followers of Christ a living building,  not inanimate,  but alive for Him.

 The stone rejected by builders as become a cornerstone, a living stone, that calls the entire building to life.

The Cathedral in Los Angelos, Our Lady of the Angels, offers an example of these living stones, united in Christ. California artist, John Nava, designed the 25 Belgium woven tapestries that hang on the north and south walls of the nave, where the saints of heaven surround the Church of earth in one act of worship.

The tapestries depict 135 saints and blessed, as well as twelve untitled images representing many among us who are holy people--young and old, various races, people from all walks of life. The artist wanted the saints to look like people we know--a spiritual house, if you will--of ordinary people who live the life of Christ.

All of the figures in the tapestries are facing toward the altar--the corner stone--the meeting place where the living stones meet and are built up. One final ponit of interest about the tapestries: the background of the saints and blessed is a large stone-textured pattern, taken from scans of the actual excavations of the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem.

                              As we, the living stones, gather with Christ, the cornerstone,

                              we are reminded that in every age God has been faithful to God’s people,

                              reminding us in Christ, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

 

And to be sure, there’s plenty of troubling news in our world. (the preacher might add examples from our world, or your local area or parish).  The Good news is that the one who is our way, our truth and our life is the one who will show us the Father.

Together may we all continue to face the Lord, so that in every age, we might be built into a spiritual house, a living house, a people who know that we are the Lord's own!

 

 © Rev. P. Del Staigers     

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