1 Peter 1:1-2:12 is our reading for today. Peter, the loud, boisterous disciple who denied Jesus at his trial, was one of the first to see the empty tomb and was there behind closed doors that first Sunday evening, meeting the risen Christ. He knew Jesus was alive. He became the spokes person at Pentecost. He was the one who visited Cornelius and spoke at the Jerusalem council for Gentiles, you and me, to stand on equal ground as believers with Jews who believed. Peter writes this letters to Christians spread all over and gives us two beautiful pictures that have guided Christians through the centuries.
1 Peter 2:2 “you also like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” We are living stones, strong, solid, contributing to a building that will stand for eternity. This house is a priesthood, a place to draw people to God and to perform sacred rituals like birth, baptism, marriage, and funerals. To stand between God and people, bringing them together. Our lives are not random but have purpose.
Peter continues 2:9 to say “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” The mirror on the wall will never tell us that, or our checkbook, or the evening news, or a report card. We are living stones and chosen people, called from darkness into light and tasked with leading others to light and caring for their spiritual needs. We may not all be pastors, evangelists, Sunday school teachers or missionaries but we are all important and part of a building being built. We are all in the plan. We all have purpose.
What kind of building do you think of when you think of the spiritual church – a grand cathedral from Europe, a little church in the wild woods, a home cell group meeting in a living room? Church is not the building, not the structure. Church is you! You are part of priesthood, praying for others, sharing hope to our poor world, and pointing others to a better way of life. Blessings as you are a living stone in a growing building. Blessings.