See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame. (1 Pet. 2:6)

IN MAY OF 2014, the national rail company of France (SNCF) faced an embarrassing conundrum as it upgraded the nation’s aging trains. The 1,860 new trains, built to SNCF’s specifications, were fast, modern, and beautiful. They were also too wide to fit 1,300 of France’s railway platforms, and unforeseen station reconfiguration costs had already topped 110 million dollars. It seems that the platform dimensions used to create the specifications for the new trains applied only to platforms built within the past thirty years. The lack of one absolute, unchanging standard had resulted in great cost, confusion, and embarrassment.

During the first century, a building’s cornerstone served a purpose that was more than decorative. It was massive, unmoving once placed, and capable of supporting great weight. Perfectly cut, its angles were precise. It established the starting point and direction of the entire structure and determined where it would stand upon completion. Throughout the construction, it was the unchanging point of reference for all else.

For the church and the individual Christian, Jesus is our Cornerstone. As God uses us to build something wonderful, we need not keep eying our position in relation to the world, but in relation to Him. Trusting Jesus as our one absolute, unchanging standard, we will never be put to shame.

Name one way in which you are basing your life on the Cornerstone.

Neil Bowers lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and children. He is a state correctional officer and enjoys children’s ministry, poetry writing, and wood carving.