“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

So, I was in a coffee shop not long ago (those that know me are definitely not surprised); as I paid for my coffee I looked at the barista and, instead of the usual “God bless you”, I said, “Thank you and Jesus loves you.”  Literally, it was as if the entire coffee shop stopped, turned, and looked at me.  I always say “God bless you” when I stop by the coffee shop, and every one there who knows me is very familiar with my well-intended salutation. (After all, I am in there once or twice a week …. okay, several times a week ….. okay, I am actually here now).  Nonetheless, when I exchanged “God bless you” for “Jesus loves you,” the impact was anything but common.  Seemingly all at once people turned to me; some smiled, some held eyes wide open, and some shrugged.  But, the Barista in front of me starred for what seemed like eternity, and then smiled and said with confidence, “Thank you for that.” 

Why did the publicly spoken name of Jesus seem to cause such an interruption?  The answer is rather simple. He is the “cornerstone,” but for many a “stumbling block of offense” (1 Peter 2:6-8).  The cornerstone reference was used by Peter when He stood before the Sanhedrin in Acts 4 to explain how the lame man in the temple was healed.  Peter addressed the religious leaders of the temple and the law as “builders of the law,” for this is how they saw themselves.  He then confronted their self-perspective with a superior term, as he referenced Jesus as the cornerstone.  This indicates that Jesus is the only foundation of faith and the only way to build the church (remember Peter’s confession in Matthew 16:16 that Jesus referenced as the foundation of the church: Christ, the Son of the living God); Jesus is the only truth that is sure; He is the cornerstone. 

In 1 Peter 2:7-8, there is a clear distinction, or I should say, a “contradistinction,” concerning Jesus as the Cornerstone.  For those who trust Jesus, He is the cornerstone; for those who reject Him, He becomes the stumbling rock and a rock of offense.  This simply indicates that “stumbling to disaster” becomes the consequence for those who persistently refuse to follow Jesus.  So, the line is clearly inserted: those who trust Jesus know Him as the foundation to all things (the cornerstone); those who deny or reject Jesus stumble over that denial into disastrous results (the stumbling block).   

So, which is He to you?  We cannot remain neutral.  Much like that day in the coffee shop, the name “Jesus” invokes a response.  Today, as you journey through this season of Advent, allow God to enliven your heart to celebrate the name that is above all names.  Do not refuse Him today.  Do not stumble.  Rest upon Him as the foundation your life desperately needs.  This is the cornerstone.  This is Christmas.  This is Jesus. 

READ: Today, read Acts 3:1-4:12 and I Peter 2:4-10 as a fresh reminder of Jesus our cornerstone.  Lift up the name of Jesus as your celebrate Christmas. 

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