Devotional for Sunday, June 10, 2012
Twilight: The New Temple
by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Peter's first epistle is addressed to "strangers in the world," who have their homeland in heaven. They are not surprised that they suffer when they do what is right. They follow the footprints of Jesus.
1 Peter 2:4–6
Come to him, a living stone ... and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:4–5, NRSV).
"Come to ... [the] living stone," means "come to Jesus." The comparison between Jesus and a stone comes from a prophecy about temple building. The masons had rejected one of the hewn stones. "That stone is no good," they said. But God chose that stone as the most important link in the structure. It became the stone on which the building rests (Ps. 118:22).
Like that stone, Jesus was rejected. "Take him away!" people said. "Crucify him!" But God chose him, and on him a whole new temple is being built. As soon as God raised him, Jesus began to gather to himself a people who form the dwelling place of God.
Today God does not dwell in a building made of wood or stone. God lives in a spiritual temple made up of people. When we come to Jesus, the living Stone, we ourselves are transformed into living stones, fitted into the spiritual house of God. In other words, when we belong to Jesus, we belong to his church. Nobody has a "personal savior," but every one of us must have personal knowledge of the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone who holds us all together.
We all know people who hang on to their church for no better reason than that their grandparents belonged to it. But even if it is possible to belong to a church without belonging to Jesus, it is not possible to stay with Jesus unless we belong to his church.