Soul Stops is a brief rest on the journey. A quite intake of breath as we pause and a gentle nudge to keep moving forward.  It is a waiting in the Truth as we nestle close in His promise…looking at what He has said to our hearts and remembering the promises in His Word.

Our family has been reading through the book of Acts together at our table.  We have been taking a slow and leisurely stroll through the beginnings of the Church and have been looking into the inspired Word a little more intently together.  We started the journey with our Advent preparations…we started with a desire to prepare and to look for Christ in our days as we were waiting… and we are learning to look into the bold beautiful words He has left to lead us in this journey.

This book, though, God’s Word, a collection of action and faith combined always inspires me to be bold, to speak fearlessly, to be a builder, to fill others up…to be that faith-girl… the one who chooses God more than she chooses self.

In boldness, Peter, filled by the Spirit of God, spoke with an understanding that astounded the listening audience and angered a few  others.  He reminds us that Jesus is the Stone, despised and rejected by the builders, but chosen and destined by God to be the Head of the Corner… Jesus is the Cornerstone.

I mean, we know that. We have read it on our own, we have heard it preached from the pulpit, and we have learned these truths through Bible study. But I was captured by the meaning of the cornerstone.

Psalm 118:22  says, ” The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; ” which refers to Jesus.  Did you know that this head of the corner is the capstone, a large anchoring stone that is used to align the corners of a window or opening, like a keystone in an arch?  In ancient architecture the entire frame was held together by that one stone at the top. The capstone, a single piece which kept the structure firm and secure, meant to strengthen and protect the building, was also an elemental decoration.

Beauty and function. Isn’t that rich?

I love how God teaches us these truths in His Word are always applicable and relevant in our world.  When I think of how an arch is  always entryway to something more. It is both useful and beautiful, strong and powerful. It holds a burdensome weight that makes the foundational walls solid, and provides an invitation to pass through.  A lot like Jesus.

Christ is not only the keystone but the key.

He is our cornerstone, the one who makes our whole self strong as He holds us together.  His name is the key that unlocks that door.

The Hebrew word for corner, pinnah, is  sometimes used as a metaphor for leader. Job, Proverbs, Isaiah, Psalms, and 1 Samuel all used this word like cornerstone in reference to leadership designed by Godly order and structure. Peter went on to say that salvation is the purpose of this arch of grace that Christ represents in our lives. (Acts 4:12)

See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” Isaiah 28:16

This foundation, the keystone of our faith, is the reason we can be bold about our faith. It is the reason we can’t let the stones cry out in our place. The stones which are held in place by the capstone, each and every moment on our faith journey, testify of the way He holds us up as we stand in our trials and our difficulties.

I am completely enamored with ancient architecture and gothic windows. Their beauty and artistry always inspire me to look deeper at the craftsmanship and the detail behind their construction. Built for more than just purpose, their intricate composition provided more than an opening for light, but an invitation to study, to approach and wonder, to look deep.   Inspired beauty often invokes a spirit of adventure, emboldened by wonder.  It draws us in heart and soul.

God’s Word is the arch by which we enter into knowing Him more and more, the path we take to find Truth.  Christ is that Arch of Grace over us. He is the  door to mercy that provides us a way to the Father and an invitation to walk in bold faith and speak mountain moving prayers.

I want to be more brave to share that in my every day conversations.  Instead of letting my words construct the conversations I have, I want to let His Words build a space for grace.  I want to pause in His covering and wait a little more, letting courage build by the pieces of His story in my journey like a contractor erects the strong doorway of a building.  The more I look and study the form of the arch, the way the top is the covering and the capstone is piece that bears the most weight, I can see how our posture can reveal His beauty as we choose a stance of worship and admiration.

He is the doorway. He is the arch that covers us. And because of Him we can be bold…that is absolutely beautiful.

And now, Lord, observe their threats and grant to Your bond servants to declare Your message fearlessly. While You stretched out Your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant jesus. And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage.

Like Peter prayed for boldness, to speak with courage and freedom fearlessly, we need to rest under the arch of His grace. These first few days of new year provide us with hope and expectation for something new with God, like walking through a door of possibility. I am reminded  of the early church and their eagerness to follow hard after Christ, and I want more of that, for both you and I.  Because more of God is exactly what our broken world needs, friends and when we have Christ, we have the key that opens the door of promise and bold prayer.

Praying for you to be built, to be emboldened, to be filled, to be shaken, to be encouraged.

Do you have a word for the year?  Each year I wait for the Lord to reveal a word that He wants to teach me about.  This is the first year I don’t have a word but a prayer.  I will share about it more next week, but I’d love to know what He has put on your heart.

Linking up with friends for the journey:

Moments of HopeCheerleaders of Faith, Tell His Story, Coffee For Your Heart, Three Word Wednesday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace n Truth, Faith n Friends Blog Hop, Missional Women, Dance with Jesus, Glimpses with Barbie, Give Me Grace,