Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We are living stones

A few weeks ago we chose the name Living Stone Bible Church. Amanda and LJ took a week to create a "short list" of church names for the group to consider. We all voted and Living Stone Bible Church won. The name of the church was inspired by I Peter 2:4-5:

4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
I thought it was appropriate to do a bit of research. Why is Jesus called a living stone? Also, why are we called living stones. Why does it make sense for Living Stone Bible Church to be the name of this new church. Consider I Corinthians 3:10-17 which compliments the I Peter passage nicely:

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If any one's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.
The temple is now us. No longer does God's spirit live in a building as described in the Old Testament. Instead it lives in us - the church. The construction of this new temple began with Jesus. He is the very first piece of construction material that was inserted. This is why Jesus is referred to in the Bible as the cornerstone.

In the same way, we are also living stones. God is building his temple, his spiritual home out of each of us. We are built on the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, it is our responsibility to minister to those around us and tell them about the hope of salvation that he offers. We are also to praise God and glorify him.

I worked for a masonry company a few years ago. I am not a mason, but I've seen a few stone walls built. It all begins with a big pile of stones. I mean a really big and messy pile. All sizes and shapes of stone. Some little. Some big. Some thick. Some thin. And none of the stone is ready to be installed in the wall. There isn't a square corner in the pile.

Installing stone in a wall is nothing like installing brick (unless the stone is a cut stone such as limestone). A mason can grab just about any brick off of the stack and install it next. But, with stone the mason has to find just the right piece of stone to install next. And, even then the mason will use his trowel to shape the stone. He strikes the edges and the corners of the stone in order to make it just the right size for the opening in the wall. When he's finished it is beautiful. There is something completely random about it and yet beautiful at the same time.

God sets us in our place in a similar way. He picks us out of a huge miserable mess of a pile. He shapes us and re-sizes us and then he places us in just the right place in his temple. There we serve. We serve along side other living stones. Each of us are very unique and different. Each of us bring a different set of gifts and talents with us.

However, God is the master mason. He has a knack for finding just the right stones to set next to each other so that their differences compliment each other. The pattern appears to us as random and chaotic. But, not to God. He chose each stone for a specific reason and purpose. And, as you stand back and examine all of the stones ... it is beautiful ... it has strength ... it is a testament to the craftsmanship of the master mason.

In Christ,


Andra said...

Reading "Let each one take care how he builds upon it" I am full of anxiety. How in the world can I build upon it with anything other than something that is flammable??

But, then you remind me that GOD is the master mason NOT me. He is molding me now and I don't have to long as I let Him do the work inside me. That gives me peace.

Daltonsbriefs said...

Chad, love the concept and the photos. I was just reading a pretty good post on using videos to reach out virally.

You guys may want to use some videos, If I was looking for a church I'd love to see the people first. Call me suspicious.

gord42 said...

Interesting. This is, of course, very similiar to why our church was named "Cornerstone".


Augie said...

I thought you might appreciate my article on Precious, Living Stones here