Jesus is not only our cornerstone, the one on whom we align and measure everything; he is also our capstone, the one who holds everything together. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes (Matt. 21:42). The function of a capstone is to hold an arch together. Architecturally an arch is a fascinating thing. Without a capstone an arch is a pile of rocks. Once the capstone is in place, it is an incredibly stable structure.

This beautiful metaphor, Jesus as the capstone, ought to cause us to think about a number of issues. Is Jesus the capstone of our life? Would life, as we know it, fall apart if Jesus wasn’t holding it together? Or, would our life pretty much go on as it always has, but be a bit less religious?

Is Jesus the capstone of our church when it meets? One time in the middle of a very religious church service I was attending, my father-in-law leaned over and whispered, “What would happen if the Holy Spirit showed up?” It was a very apt question. The answer, in that particular case, was that the Holy Spirit would have been very disruptive. The order of service might have been thrown off. The precise schedule would need to have been thrown out. We might have gone over schedule and worse yet, we might have needed to focus on something that wasn’t in the bulletin. Jesus wasn’t the capstone, the order of service was. However, I’ve been in quite a few simple church meetings, some of which I led, where Jesus wasn’t the capstone. He wasn’t the capstone because I, or someone else, was leading. Frankly, every gathering of Christians should fall apart if Jesus isn’t holding it together. Jesus should lead, not us or a preplanned order of service.

How about the ministry we are involved in? Is Jesus holding it together? Is the denominational or mission infrastructure holding it together? Is the dynamic leadership of a human leader holding it together? Is the philosophy of ministry, the mission statement, the budget or “the plan” holding it together? If these things are true, I wonder if that ministry ought not be a pile of rocks. If Jesus isn’t the capstone, in a real tangible way, not just in some philosophical or theological way, why should anything we do hold together?

Jesus holds us together. Our faith is called Christianity for a reason. It is not “Bibleanity” or Paulaity, or Baptistaity, Pentecostalaity, Catolicanity or simplechurchanity.  It is Christianity. He, Christ Jesus, is our capstone. He holds everything together. He holds every meeting together, or he should. He holds our lives together, or he should. He holds every element of Christianity together, or he should. Sometimes he doesn’t. He doesn’t because we have allowed false capstones in our lives, in our expressions of our faith, and in the way we structure ourselves. Whatever we do should be a pile of rocks if Christ isn’t our capstone. The way we live our lives should be so fragile, if Jesus isn’t there, they should collapse.  Are we willing to allow everything he isn’t holding together to fall into a pile of rocks?

For other posts on Jesus’ centrality see: Jesus Manifesto, Authority: How Jesus Leads a Church, Jesus as the Cornerstone, A Body without a Head and Integrity.

  • What, in your life, would become a pile of rocks if Jesus wasn’t holding it together?
  • How do you think the idea of Jesus holding our lives together relates to the life of faith?
  • How can we get rid of false capstones? How do we recognize them?
  • Would it be fair to say that if we find someplace in our life which doesn’t have Jesus as the capstone, we have found an idol?
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