Take It With You 05.15.2022

“Come to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by the people, but He is precious to God who chose Him. And now God is building you, as living stones, into His spiritual temple. What’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please Him because of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4-5 NLT
Peter’s words declare Christ as the foundation of the church, and those who follow Christ become the living stones that God uses to build His church. This reference does not suggest literal buildings, rather the building of the church represents a community of believers. When the curtain in the Temple is torn in two, every believer gains direct access to God. Rejected but resurrected, Jesus creates a New Way back to God. Christ, the Great High Priest, makes the last and ultimate blood sacrifice for sin. Through Grace we can enter into the Presence of God as His holy priests.
God always desires to have a dwelling place with His people, first in the Garden, then in the tabernacle, later in the temple, next on earth via Christ, and now within each believer through the Holy Spirit. What Jesus calls “My church” in Matthew 16:18 is less a specific place and more a spiritual gathering. Commentaries suggest the Greek word ekklesia or church is better translated as “a messianic community” or “assembly or congregation.” Today, we call this community of believers the body of Christ.
As members of Christ’s church, we are called to be part of the royal priesthood. We who profess Christ as Savior become stewards of the Good News. As Andy reminded us a few weeks ago, “As we go places, be a disciple.” The future of the church rests on the stewardship of our discipleship. As living stones, we come together in obedience and with offerings, we share the goodness of God and the mercy of Christ, we foster the understanding of grace and infinite love. Chosen and called by Christ, we must decide if we will be His disciple… as we go!
Holy God, infinite in wisdom, I try to imagine Your mystery but cannot understand such love, cannot comprehend such power, cannot explain such mercy. My sacrifice of praise is endless. Count me alive in Christ. Let this living stone glorify You!
~ Donna Oswalt