We are living stones. What does this mean?
by Mary Kate Hipp
Stones and rocks are mentioned over 300 times in Scripture. Peter himself, the author of our passage for today, was even renamed "rock" (Cephas) by Jesus. Often in the Old Testament, the mention of stones pertained to altars built for the Lord. An altar is a memorial of sorts built to symbolize a place where God met a person or people (Exodus 20:22-26). Altars can also refer to a place constructed for sacrificial purposes. In other words, altars signify bringing praise to the Lord.
What Peter is communicating is this: those who believe are the stones who make up the altar, in this case, the church. Together, these stones cry out and bring praise to the One who has chosen us! Collectively, we are the body of Christ. When constructing an altar or a church (or any building for that matter), multiple stones are required. We are to come together to build one body, one church. And we are not built up for ourselves, but to be a part of the holy priesthood as living sacrifices to the Lord!
We are a chosen people, called into His mercy to declare His praises. Let us, all together, be consecrated before the Lord and members of one body who remember what the Lord has done and will do! Though we no longer have many stone altars, may we be the living stones who make up an altar to symbolize that God has met us and that He rescued us! May we be the living stones whose lives are like a sacrifice, pleasing and acceptable in the Lord's sight.
As Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians, the priesthood is to be built up until all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God's Son, growing in every way towards Him who is the head, Christ (cf. Ephesians 4:13-16). As we launch into this campaign at UALC of togetherness, may we be living stones growing in togetherness towards Him who is the head, Christ.
Lord, search me and know my heart. Help me to see how I am to fit into this plan of togetherness. Help me to know the ways in which I am not living as a chosen people as You have called me. Allow me today to rest in the call You have given me to be a part of Your body, that I am Yours. Amen.