by Ruth Olsen
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Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5).
Peter begins this letter with praise to God for the living hope we have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and with it, an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. That doesn’t mean we won’t suffer grief in all kinds of trials, including during our current pandemic, but rather, we are purified and refined in the process.
Beginning a series of imperatives with the call to ‘be holy’ (1 Peter 1:13), through the next chapters, Peter urges his readers to be intentional in their Christian walk. Like newborn babies desire food, we must eagerly desire spiritual food. As we grow, of course, we need to learn to take in solid food too (see Hebrews 5:12–14).
But there’s purpose in us growing! For our identity comes from Christ Jesus, the living and life-giving Stone; ‘living’ in that it is personal. Followers of Jesus are also like living stones, deriving life from Christ, the living capstone or cornerstone; made alive by the Holy Spirit, being built into a spiritual house and a royal priesthood.
For ‘stones’ to fit and work together well, refining, chipping away, and polishing is needed. In the natural realm, different kinds of stone are used for different purposes. The Lord knows exactly what kind of ‘stone’ he has created and called us to be, and our purpose in where we can serve others best. As ‘living stones’, God is also building us as royal priests, people indwelt by the Spirit of God, belonging to God. A holy nation who declare his praises!
Lord God, we declare that you are good, for you called us out of darkness into your wonderful light. Bless others through us, wherever we are. Amen.