Advent – December 21st, 2018

The stone the builders rejected
Has become the capstone
The Lord has done this
And it is marvelous in our eyes

Worst childhood memory? For me, one of them has to be gym class. I wasn’t athletic or coordinated, so it was miserable. That misery peaked into a nightmare when the class would start with this announcement from the teacher – “Ok kids, I’m going to pick team captains for kickball, and they’ll choose their teams.” I knew what this meant. I’d quickly scan the class for someone weaker and with less hand to eye coordination. Then, as the brutal selection began, I’d sit there and hope that at least I might get picked before one of the girls. You can imagine how that went.

Rejected stones are just that, broken leftovers on the job site, construction refuse that is worthless to the builders. You can usually tell a piece of junk when you see it – something probably oddly shaped or cracked, sitting thrown away on the dump truck pile. It’s a practical decision. One we’ve all made many times while cleaning out the garage. Is it useful? No. Valuable? No. Does it mean something special to you? No. Then off to the trash it goes.

Rejection is awful.  We all know a story or two where someone was rejected, perhaps in the football draft or in the applying to a particular school or job, and it was the wrong decision. After the initial rejection, that person goes on to break all the records and be someone truly amazing. For some reason we love these stories, perhaps because of the way they give us so much hope. Rejection is an Advent story.  Eternal creator comes to save His creation, he was treated as a discarded loser, and then that same loser turns around to save those who rejected Him – the sweet joy of heaven! That’s an eternal and unbeatable love right there, and it gets even better. It’s a story He loves to tell over and over in our lives. He is God, and He makes the choices. This is meant to show us what kinds of choices He makes, and He’s radically different than Junior High School kickball captains. As God, He had better reasons not to, and He had better folks to choose from, but in the end, I’m surprised by my joy – He picked me!

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