Advent 2020 Reflection – Day Twenty-One
Day 21 – 1 Peter 2 5 – 9
5 and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For it stands in scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and he who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7 To you therefore who believe, he is precious, but for those who do not believe, “The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner,”
8 and “A stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall”; for they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
We continue our thoughts from yesterday about our homes. In our verses today, Peter identifies Jesus, as the living stone the cornerstone of the house of God. Peter calls Jesus living because of the resurrection and he expands this description to include each one of us, as followers of Jesus, who have come alive in our faith in God.
We are also like building stones which are to be used to build up a dwellling place for God. A spiritual house where we serve him as priests. Those who Peter writes to would be intimately aware of the role of the priests in the temple, representing them to God. Peter describes the new order, where God’s people are both the temple and the priesthood. We are able to come before God ourselves as Jesus has removed all of the barriers. We no longer need a third party to act as a mediator for us.
Although it is alien to us, it was also expected, indeed it was required by the law, that the people would bring sacrifices to the temple. The priests would have killed the sacrifices and then offered them to God on behalf of the people. Now we are the temple, the priests and also the sacrifices offered to God. We are living sacrifices, no more are blood sacrifices required. Instead we offer every part of ourselves as a living sacrifice to be used by God for his purposes.
What are we called to? – To speak of the wonderful way that God works in our lives. To re-tell our story of his calling of us from the darkness of not knowing him into the light of his presence.
Our own personal testimony is the most powerful witness we can give. So we speak freely of our experience of God so that God can use those words to allow others to also experience God in their lives.
In our time of silence we offer ourselves into God’s service. Eager to be those living stones building his temple with our lives.
I have chosen as our carol today Once in royal davids city. Number 214 in Singing the Faith. It is one of my favourite Christmas carols and as we draw closer to Christmas it speaks of the whole meaning of Jesus’ coming. It reminds us that we are called to follow him and his example in building his Kingdom through our love.
And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.
Loving God we thank you that you transform us into stones which you use to build your temple. We praise you that you have called us from darkness into your marvelous light. Help us to shine with your light in all we do and say. Let your light shine through us so that others may be drawn to know you.
We delight that you call us to your priesthood. Help us to live our lives in awe and wonder of that calling.
Thank you that we are able to come into your presence to offer you our praise and worship. We thank you for the heights we are lifted to as we worship you, especially when we worship as a fellowship together. Help us to encourage each other to offer ourselves into your loving hands to be living stones. May our worship and fellowship prepare us to declare the wonderful deeds you have done in each of our lives. Lord, we pray for revival and for visions and dreams of the ways we can bring that to be through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. Amen.
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