Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Psalm 118:17-24 (NIV)
17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. 18 The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. 19 Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. 21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. 22 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 23 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.
The ground in Wisconsin is filled with stones. You probably know this if you have ever dug a garden. Years ago, the biggest stones were used to build houses and barns. Imagine yourself building a house and you only wanted to use white stones. If you dug up a big black one you would toss it aside. Seems logical. Jesus is that black stone that, if put into the wall, would stick out like a sore thumb and God the Father, in His wisdom (1 Cor. 1:21-25), sent Jesus to be the object of our disdain and was rejected so that we would be accepted. So, like the author of this Psalm, rejoice! Live with joy today knowing that God has accepted you because of what Jesus has done and that you will not die, but live!