“So keep coming to him who is the Living Stone—though he was rejected and discarded by men but chosen by God and is priceless in God’s sight. Come and be his “living stones”who are continually being assembled into a sanctuary for God. For now you serve as holy priests, offering up spiritual sacrifices that he readily accepts through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:4-5.
In our culture today, when we build our homes, we often build them out of wood. For larger buildings, we use steel. But, in Peter’s day, the material that they used in building homes and buildings were stones. This passage uses this fact and describes the community of believers as a building that Christ is building. But, the passage isn’t so much about the church which God is building. It’s more about our relationship to Christ, the living stone. We are living stones because He is the chief stone. We each are stones built on Christ to take part in God’s ongoing work of redemption and healing.
Have you ever watched as workers covered a house or chimney with stone. They truck in a few thousand pounds of rocks and the labor intensive work begins. Stones of all shapes and sizes are placed carefully in the structure to form its shape. As the mason begins the wall, he places a few large stones at the base of the wall. Once the stones are placed, he walks over to the pile to see what sort of stones would fit nicely on these stones. At various times, he shapes them up and sizes them to see if they will work for him. When he has found his stone, he puts some mortar down, and places the stone where it goes. It is like a rock jigsaw puzzle.
God’s kingdom is made up of people who don’t all look the same, talk the same, even believe exactly the same in terms of scripture, methodology, and doctrine. Some black, some white, some red, yellow, some old, some young, some men, some women. But it’s not in those things that we find common ground with one another. Jesus is where we find common ground. Jesus is the cornerstone. The cornerstone is the one that literally sets all the other stones in place.
Jesus is building His church, but rather than a pile of stones, He has a pile of believers. He takes each of us and considers how best to place us into His church, which He has promised to build (Matt. 16:18). And Jesus places us into the wall and ceiling and floor as He pleases. God is not calling any of us to give up how He made us. He does not want us to use how He made us to relate inappropriately to people He has made different than us. God is not asking you to be anything other than what He’s made you, as long as you submit to how He has made you, and to relate to other people who He has made different than you.
When our master craftsmen, the Creator of the Universe, draws us to Himself, something wonderful happens. We begin the journey of becoming more and more like His Son, Jesus, and this is very precious to Him regardless of age, color, or ethnicity, gender or nationality.
- What does it mean to you to be a living stone?
- What can we do this week to better relate to people who are different than we are?