“Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
~ I Peter 2.4-5, NRSV
His name means rock. Peter, known for his fickleness, his denial of Christ, calls believers to become living stone. Often unstable, unpredictable and hard- headed, Peter is now certain of a few things. Violent and cursing, tempered only by the words of Christ, he has put away his sword and is now a pillar of the Church.
He’s been through some things. He’s seen the worst of himself, lost his leader and fully accepted his Lord. He’s been to hell and back, up and down and up again. He has experienced agony and regret, defeat and victory. He’s knows the great heights and depths, the highs and lows of life.
He’s an apostle now, a preacher after Pentecost. He will later be martyred, crucified upside down according to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. He will die for the one he once denied.
Peter is writing to the churches of the dispersion and to us to join with Christ, the chief cornerstone. He is asking us to join in a building project, to create a new community, a “beloved community” of spiritual houses. He is calling for materials, living stones to come to Christ.
And Peter wants those who have been rejected by mortals, looked at and tossed aside. They have been rejected by society. They don’t fit and they don’t fit in. Those are the ones that Peter wants.
Well, if you feel that you have been rejected due to the social construct of race, if you have been marginalized because of the social coloring of skin and you want some where to go, come to Jesus. He is looking for living stones, persons who have “set their face like flint” (Isaiah 50.7) because they too have been up and down and up again and they are looking for stability.
The spiritual house of Christ can provide that. So, I join with the apostle Peter and make a plea for living stones. Won’t you come?
“On Christ the solid rock I stand/ All other ground is sinking sand/ All other ground is sinking sand.”