Our New Church Address is: 5004 Cross Keys Rd, Mt Crawford, VA 22841

Half Bubble Off Plumb

September 03, 2023

Half Bubble Off Plumb

In the summer of 1978, I left my summer farming job for an adventure working with a skilled tradesman, a masonry contractor. He was awarded the job to build all block and brick structures at the new water slide that was going to open at the loop on Atlantic Avenue in Va. Beach.  My job was to be what is known as a grunt or laborer. It was amazing to see structures rising above the concrete footers that had been poured, brick by brick and block by block, just one at a time! Did I mention that this was a hot and dirty job?

The first part of the exterior wall was the cornerstone. It had to be perfectly installed level and plumb. From the cornerstone the masons would set the next corner and string a tight line from to corner to corner to verify that these two corners were level with each other, and once that was achieved, the brick or block could be installed in between those two corners. And then of course, repeat and repeat. Every brick and block would show the leveling bubble exactly in the middle of the mason’s level. 

The corners had to be square and plumb or the whole buildings integrity could be questionable. All the weight from the many courses of masonry that would sit on the corners and first rows of block or brick could make the wall collapse and shift if they were not true! The corners had to be perfect!

We read today: ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the head of the corner; this came to be from the Lord, and it is marvellous in our eyes’? [Mt. 21:42]  Jesus is our cornerstone and all the weight and integrity of the true church rests squarely on His shoulders and on His cross. From the Scripture we have learned that He is sent from the Father, the only-begotten Son, and He and the Father are one. “If you see me, you have seen the Father!” (John 14:9)

You and I as we become more Orthodox rest ourselves upon this perfect Cornerstone. But we need some shaping and some cleansing before we can support more of the wall of the temple. St. Peter wrote in his epistle that Christians are “living stones…being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:4-5) Or as the Church we are collectively the temple of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation.” (1 Peter 2:9)  We have a priestly ministry to the world so that the whole universe may proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His Marvelous light. The Jews of old had a law and the teachings of the prophets, but we are members of Christ’s own Body; we are supposed to be healthy living branches of His vine. At the chalice we share His very own Body and Blood; and He lives in our hearts. We are His inheritance. 

In becoming a strong fortress wall, true and square, we all must remember that hearing the word of God and applying it also has a lot to do with cleansing ourselves from everything that is not holy. Simply put, we need to be cleansed from all that does not belong in a holy temple. Thoughts, words, and deeds that we are ashamed to offer to Him for a blessing should have no place to root in us. We should close our eyes and ears to whatever excites our passions. We should turn our attention away from thoughts of self-righteousness, anger, envy, and lust, and from all unholy temptations, Lord Have Mercy! We should go out of our way to love and be a blessing to our enemies and those whom we are inclined to think the worst of. We must become holy temples of the Lord by following the Theotokos’ example of purity and obedience as we grow in our participation in God’s holiness. Or in masonry building terms, we never want to be half a bubble off plumb! We want to be level and true!



Fr. Gabriel Weller 9-3-2023


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Homilies from Fr. Gabriel

Can I Get a Witness
Can I Get a Witness

July 14, 2024

Continue Reading

Independence Day
Independence Day

July 07, 2024

Continue Reading

Disgusting Words
Disgusting Words

June 30, 2024

Continue Reading