“The Cornerstone” is the 3rd song from the “Stand Firm” project.
The song started with 1 Peter 2:4-8 as we studied through 1 Peter.
The Scripture points to Jesus being our cornerstone. Jesus = Cornerstone. You will build your life upon him or stumble over him all your days.
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The text served as a challenge in the process of composing the song. The topic is very deep, but we didn’t want to add to the limited and sufficient amount of content. As we studied the passage, we wanted to really get across 4 ideas:
- The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone
- A rock of offense, a stumbling stone
- O, build me upon your foundation as a living stone
- Chosen and precious, Jesus our cornerstone
We made each line end on “stone” with the idea that we could sing four independent lines and then all end on the same word harmonizing to form a chord. Each line was sung twice and then the next line would stack upon it. By the end you had four lines swirling around each other and then settling together not he word “stone.”
During a songwriting day, we formed a chord pattern of an Am, Dm, E7. I then assigned each person to begin writing a melody line for one of the phrases. The end result was pretty special.
The song was a cappella but we did add some foot stomps in it to give it a driving feel.
After the song was over, we also decided to add an instrumental section in there. We borrowed those melody lines and my guitar, Jamie’s trumpet, and Shelton’s cello went into a festive and rowdy musical interlude to try to display the depth of this Scripture passage.
I just got a note yesterday saying that a friend’s children were singing this song to her in the car – children singing the Word – that’s what we were going for!
You can listen to or get a copy at the link below.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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