Read 1 Peter 2:2-10
While on my morning walk, I came across a pile of bluestone rocks discarded on the nature strip. On top was a piece of paper with one word written in large letters, “FREE.” The next day I noticed that the stones, rejected as worthless by one gardener must have been claimed as precious by another.
The Apostle Peter writes about a “Living Stone” which was also rejected as worthless. However, the master builder chose this stone to be the most important stone in the entire building; not just any building block, but a priceless cornerstone to support the entire structure.
This, of course, is a picture of Jesus. He was always the Living Stone, but he was rejected by humans. People considered him worthless! They saw him as a stumbling block, a rock of offence. They rejected him. They crucified him. In God’s sight, though, he was chosen and precious – priceless. God raised him to life on the third day. He restored that Living Stone to its rightful place, as the priceless Cornerstone of the church of the living God; “the Cornerstone of a whole new world,” as one songwriter puts it.
What difference does that make for us? Peter writes to those who put our trust in Jesus, “You are like living stones,” crafted in the image of the Living Stone. It was we who deserved to be rejected as worthless, but God allowed the most precious stone of all to be rejected in our place; thrown on the scrapheap of death. When the Living Stone was raised to life, he made it possible for us to become like living stones too, rescued, restored, and repurposed as part of God’s eternal spiritual house.
We are not “just another brick in the wall”, as Pink Floyd might have once told us. With Christ as Cornerstone, we are “like living stones built into a spiritual house.” Peter reminds us: You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people …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.
It is good to take some time to reflect on what that means for us. In Christ, we are by no means worthless, but like him we are priceless in God’s sight.
We can give thanks for the Privilege of being rescued and restored by God and built, like living stones, into his spiritual house.
We can give thanks for the Presence of Christ, the Cornerstone in our midst through his saving Word and Sacraments, sustaining and building us up as God’s holy people.
We can give thanks for the holy Priesthood that Christ has given us to exercise before God, each other, and the world.
St Peter reminds us that, in response to God’s undeserved love, we should Come to him daily in repentance and faith in the assurance of his forgiveness.
Having tasted that the Lord is good, we should Crave the pure spiritual milk so that we may grow in the gift of God’s Salvation.
As a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, we should regularly Consider our calling to proclaim the mighty acts of him who called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
Because Jesus, The Living Stone, was rejected as worthless, yet became the Cornerstone, chosen and precious in God’s sight, we can also give thanks that, in Christ, God will never consider us worthless, but will always look upon us as his priceless possession.
Pastor Lester Priebbenow
Bishop – Victoria Tasmania District