O King of nations,
the ruler they long for,
the cornerstone uniting all people:
Come and save us all,
whom you formed out of clay.
Jesus is both King and Cornerstone. As King, he governs by His gracious reign of forgiveness and peace as the King of kings. As Cornerstone, He sets all the angles square and unites His church together as one in spite of our sad divisions.
He is the potter, we are the clay. He is the King, we are His subjects. He is the Cornerstone, we are living stones built into a temple for His Name. We want this, and then again, we don’t want it. The sinful nature resents the potter, refuses the king, resists the cornerstone. Sin is the overthrow of God’s reign, the attempt to be a god in place of God. It is the rebellion of the clay against the potter who shaped it. It is our attempt to determine the lines of our future and destiny, to be our own cornerstone.
The outcome is chaos and death. A kingdom in which everyone is king is no kingdom at all. It is anarchy. A building in which every stone is the cornerstone is a pile of rubble. Individualism ends in isolation. It is death to family, to community. It was not good that man was alone. God sets us into community. Sin erects walls, both visible and invisible, barriers to community. We define the boundaries of our own little kingdoms and vow to defend them to the death.
Christ has come as King and Cornerstone. His coming was without the trappings of royalty. A virgin mother. A manger crib. A borrowed donkey. Royal robes worn in mockery and scorn. His crown was made of thorns. His throne was a cross. He is a beggar king in a kingdom of beggars.
The crucified King is the King of kings. The rejected stone is the cornerstone. As His second advent draws ever nearer, we are reminded that His kingdom is not of this world, that His rule is eternal, that He conquers with the sword of His Word. As His baptized believers, we are privileged to enjoy His reign even now through faith, to live under Him in His kingdom, and to serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.