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Living Stones, Living House

Living Stones, Living House

by Josh Caudill

Rejected by those he came to save, Christ is the living stone, the foundation of the church. Despite our rejection of this Stone, Peter tells us that he he was still "in the sight of God, chosen and precious" (1 Peter 2:4).

Peter, who rejected Christ three times leading up to his execution, is telling us that Christ is the stone upon which our beloved community, which we call the Church, is built. Peter, whose name means "stone," is calling us to participate in this community. He goes on, in verse 5, to remind us that we, too, are "like living stones built up as a spiritual house."

What does this mean? We know that Christ, the living stone, is the one around whom we gather. He is the one on whose behalf we scatter, proclaiming the message of His kingdom. What is He calling us to as living stones?

Let us look back to verse 1: "So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander." This is a comprehensive ethic, as Andy reminded us this Sunday. God calls us to set aside all that would bring about division within the body of Christ; there is no room for prejudice and anger, or for us to hold grudges in our community. We have a much higher calling that precludes such things, and it is the key to understanding our role as "living stones."

Look at verse 5 again. God is not only calling us to be living stones, but to come together as living stones to be built into a spiritual house. A house, a structured community of believers coming together under the banner of love that is the Kingdom of Christ and His redemption. We are a "holy priesthood," called to "offer spiritual sacrifices." These are not calls upon the individual believer, but upon us, as a community, to join hands.

There is no room for malice, envy, and strife. Our calling is much bigger than these. Instead, let us renew, regroup, and restore.

Where do you see anger, hypocrisy, and slander in your life? How can you work to break down divisions in your community this week? How can your regroup work together as "a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ"?

Grace & Peace
Josh Caudill