March 23, 2010

March 23: Personal stones

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By Rachel Nafziger, a junior elementary education major from Harrisonburg, Va.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
“Nothing’s going right,” I quietly moan. It’s 12:23 a.m., and the computer screen in front of me flashes, taunting in its robotic hum. “An error has occurred in a third party module”….

That’s all I need to know.

With the exasperated click of a mouse, I dutifully submit – and suddenly, my carefully crafted message has disappeared.

“I hate technology!” I fume to my roommate. This can actually be translated to English as: “I have nothing to show. I have not produced. I am a failure.”

… Is there a little piece of you that can identify with this situation? Ever had days steeped in errors, mistakes, missed opportunities and so many faux pas that you start to look around and wonder where the hidden cameras are?

With busy lives, deadlines, financial stress and obligations, it’s easy to weigh ourselves down in the measuring eyes of the world. Yet when we declare our devotion to God, we are challenged to measure ourselves in a very unique, radical way – through the eyes of our Creator.

If you have not already, please take some time to reflect on the beautifully scripted verse chosen for today.

Here are some words that nudged at the corners of my mind: “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see.”(v. 22-23).

Jesus might be considered a modern-day failure. Rejected by his very own people, he wasn’t exactly the most popular guy in town. Yet he went on to become the cornerstone of Christian faith, the embodiment of God’s love displayed on earth.

What if our own personal “stones” that the world has rejected are actually things that can further God’s kingdom? What if we measured ourselves in the way we use our unique God-given talents, rather than obsessing over petty mistakes? What if we realized that God does not see us with the same eyes that we look at each other with?

May this passage bring you hope in a time of questioning. No matter what challenges and downfalls our day-to-day life brings, God’s faithful love endures forever. Not just today, not even in this lifetime – but for all of eternity.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV)
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever!

Let Israel say,
‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God,
and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.

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Comments (9)

  1. Good Morning! Thank you fo rthis verse! It reminds me that, despite my past mistakes, thoughts that I am too old to change, the Lord offers hope, “he has thaken the stone the builders rejected, and made it the cornerstone”. WHat a beautiful metaphor, that it is never to late to let the love of the Lord transform you – look at Abraham! Peace, Beth

    Beth March 23, 2010 |
  2. Rachel, I really appreciate this section and this realization:

    “What if our own personal “stones” that the world has rejected are actually things that can further God’s kingdom? What if we measured ourselves in the way we use our unique God-given talents, rather than obsessing over petty mistakes? What if we realized that God does not see us with the same eyes that we look at each other with?”

    Thank you for reminding me of my beauty in God’s eyes and that my work can be used to further Christ’s kingdom — no matter how little I think I may matter today.

    May God bless you today.

    Meghan Hoover March 23, 2010 |
  3. Thank you for this thoughful meditation. . . Though I am old I can begin again. I am reminded each time my computer message slips away. I can correct my mistakes BEGIN AGAIN.

    Mary K. Mishler March 23, 2010 |
  4. Your devotion was exactly what I needed today! The day has been one mishap after another, beginning with an argument before school with my 10 year old son, who I adore, and what an awful way to begin the day. Things have just snowballed since, and reading your devotion I am reminded of a saying a friend of mine always tells me…”Who’s measuring stick?” God’s is the only one that matters. Thank you.

    Lynn March 23, 2010 |
  5. What a timely devotion. The youth who served as acolyte this past Sunday was upset when she thought she had made a mistake. I am forwarding this message to her. Thank you for words of comfort!

    Brenda March 23, 2010 |
  6. We all have those days but thank God he has not forsaken us.thank you Rachel

    robert March 23, 2010 |
  7. What an assuring message and written so skillfully! Thanks.
    Phil

    Phil Osborne, GC '65 March 23, 2010 |
  8. I just read your lenten devotion again. Parise the Lord for the wisdom you are sharing with others. These are very difficult times for me, seeing grandma the one I loved and cherished, change so much. But my devotion to the Lord God helps me through each day. Truly,the Lord’s eyes are not our eyes and this is the LORD’s doing even though it is difficult. God’s best to you

    Grandpa Nafziger March 23, 2010 |
  9. Trusting in the lord with all your heart and
    leaning not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledging him knowing he will direct your paths. The cornerstone that was rejected is the one that holds the foundation of the world in place.

    Connie Reimer March 23, 2010 |