Touchstones Markers for Measuring Discipleship
Christ is the Capstone
Throughout Scripture are unique stories where stones are use as markers of “touchstones,” to memorialize significant encounters with God. One of my childhood favorite is the story of Jacob’s ladder. Jacob dream of a ladder extending into heaven with the Lord standing above, affirming that the promise first given to Abraham would now flow through him. When he awoke, he took the stone that had been his pillow and set it up as a pillar, vowing to serve the Lord and to give a tenth of all God have gave him.
A powerful image of a touchstone is the cornerstone described in 1 Peter 2:6. The “head of the corner” was a massive stone set, not in the foundation, but in the upper corner of a building to bind the walls firmly together. The huge stone would have been useless in other positions in the building. It lay rejected in the building yard while the wall were being built. Its size would have made it a stumbling block to the builders as long as it lay on the ground unused. But once in place, it became the capstone on which all else in the building depended.
Christ is too great to be neglected or rejected. For those who follow Him, He is the capstone that make all life’s efforts cohere and have lasting meaning. But for those who stubble over and reject Him, life will lack purpose and meaning. There will be judgment in the life to come.
The first touchstone for the genuine disciple is the recognition of the gift of salvation graciously offered in Christ. Peter reminds us we once were not a people because we had not received mercy (1 Peter 2:10). But now we are a people precisely because we have received mercy. Christian stewardship is marked by the confession that all we are and all we have had been received from God and therefore belongs to God.