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Westin Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage, CA
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
The word “living” in “living stones” is more accurately translated “lively”...we’ve been animated by God’s spirit. In fact, the Message version of these verses says, “ Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.”
One commentary I read said: “God’s spiritual house is under construction. The stones of buildings are dead stones, but the stones of God’s spiritual house are alive. They are witnesses to the mighty deeds of the Master Builder, the Creator of all things….His reclaimed creation is His kingdom’s construction site."
Our churches, our homes, and our Christian schools are preparing and equipping the kingdom builders. Each person, who acknowledges Jesus as Lord, is one of those living stones in God’s house.
Each stone is precious in God’s spiritual house. You are precious! Another commentary I read said this: “It takes all kinds of stones, cut and placed by the Master’s guiding hand, to become His spiritual house. Like those who established our schools (and churches), some stones are foundational. Foundation stones are under the ground and unseen, but without their efforts and legacy our schools would crumble. Their work for the Master is to be remembered and celebrated. There are unassuming stones in our communities, among our staff, and within our students. Nothing causes them to stand out. Yet take any one of them away and the strength of the building is compromised. Some stones are the pretty ones that make up the visible exterior, while others hold beautiful archways together. Every stone is equally valuable and needed in the house of the King of Kings.”
Each one of us is a living stone built upon Jesus Christ and held in place by the lives of other believers. Your gifts, blessings, sufferings, and life experiences are specifically made to minister to those the Lord has in place around you. We are individually made to be built up together, relationship upon relationship, into something greater than ourselves to the glory of God. To hearken back to last year’s theme: we are made for more!
This “spiritual house” serves two purposes. Just as each stone in a building faces outwardly and inwardly, so also each “living stone” who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ remains ever in the presence of God, viewing, rejoicing in, and celebrating His gracious love even as we continue to live and move and have our being among the people we know – in our family, in our schools, in the neighborhood, at the businesses we frequent, and especially within our congregations, gatherings of fellow believers. We live a dual life, or rather have a dual view of reality, two quite disparate realities as we continue on in our journey in this life headed toward the glory of God’s eternal heavenly kingdom – that reality within the temple and that which is on the outside."
Finally, to the thought that David Kinnaman will share: Christian schools are the scaffolding around living stones! We have the privilege of introducing children and families to Jesus, and helping them discover how they fit in this spiritual house. May God bless our efforts in this important task.