I Peter 2:4-10
“4 Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5 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.
6 For it stands in scripture:
“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7 To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner,”
“A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.”
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, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10 Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy. ” NRSV
The essence of ministry is working to build each congregation into a “spiritual house.” It starts with acknowledging the obvious, the “church” is not the building. The church is the people who gather in the building. It is the people who gather in the building who are called to be built into the spiritual house.
The challenge many ministers face is an unwillingness of the people to “let themselves be built into a spiritual house.” A good people? yes. A people devoted to attending and supporting the church? Most of the time. A people devoted to turning their lives over to God, grounding the decisions and priorities that shape their lives on prayer, study, discernment, and service? I think the state of the church and society today suggests the verdict may still be out on that one.
I am grateful to be serving a church who is committed to this journey of being built into a spiritual house devoted to finding ways to bless its community and world.
Be a blessing to someone today!