The Church Jesus is Building
1 Peter 2:6-10, NIV
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame. Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and, ‘A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
There was a church having a new air-conditioning system installed in the Sanctuary, and the pastor was meeting with the contractor. The man asked the pastor a number of questions about the seating capacity, square footage, usual attendance, and so on, all the while taking notes. Then in the midst of his calculations, the contractor suddenly crumpled up the paper he was figuring on and started over.
“What’s wrong?” asked the pastor. “I was figuring for a theater instead of a church,” replied the contractor. “What’s the difference? Wouldn’t they be the same?” responded the pastor. “No, not really,” answered the contractor. “You see, in a theater with all that’s going on up on the screen, there are certain biological changes that take place: heart rates are elevated, blood pressure increases, and body temperatures begin to climb. In other words, there is a greater need for the cooling process when people get excited. On the other hand, in the church… well, you know.”
Well, that contractor hasn’t been to Mt. Bethel for worship! In our worship, those living stones that Peter was talking about come to life. That “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” filled with the Spirit of God comes to life in worship as we “declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
Peter said nothing about a dry, lifeless church, or a stagnant church, or an old stale church. The Church Peter is talking about is alive! It’s not built with inanimate materials that are held together with mortar or nails. The church Peter is talking about is the church that Jesus is building. He is building it with carefully chosen building materials, like the material of no other building. These materials will not become brittle and break apart – they will continue to grow and breathe new life.
I’m so thankful to be part of a church that is alive! I’m so thankful to be part of a church that is serious about “declaring the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
See you on Sunday!