Theme of the Week: Radical Discipleship
Bible Verses: “This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone.” Acts 4:11 CSB
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:1-8, Ephesians 2:19-22
The late Duke of Windsor, who had for a short period been King Edward VIII, died in Paris in May 1972. That night a very interesting documentary was shown on British television. It included extracts from earlier films in which he was shown being questioned about his upbringing, his brief reign and his abdication. Looking back to his boyhood, he said, “My father [King George V] was a strict disciplinarian. Sometimes when I had done something wrong, he would admonish me, saying, ‘My dear boy, you must always remember who you are.’”
If only he would remember that he was a royal prince destined for the throne, he would behave accordingly and not misbehave. So who are we? That is the question. I doubt if there is any New Testament text which gives a more varied and balanced account of what it means to be a disciple than 1 Peter 2:1–17. In a series of varied metaphors, the apostle illustrates who we are.
One of the pictures which Peter develops is that of living stones (verses 4-8). It is a stone building, and we have no difficulty recognizing it as a church – not the sort of church building we know today but the church of the living God, the people of God. Since the stones in the building are people, Peter calls them “living stones.”
Let’s pause a moment and rejoice that all over the world, God is building his church. In fact, nothing can destroy God’s church; the church has an eternal destiny. It is indestructible. Stone by stone, the building grows until one day the coping stone will be put in place and the construction is complete.
What is the implication of all this? It is surely that we belong to one another. If babies need milk in order to grow, stones need mortar in order to stick to one another. Look in your imagination at the building. Each stone is cemented in with other stones, and so is part of the building. No stone is suspended in mid-air. Every stone belongs to the building and cannot be dislodged from it.
Let’s pause a moment and reflect, applying Peter’s teaching to ourselves. What does Jesus Christ mean to us? Is he a stumbling stone against whom we scrape our shins and fall? Or is he the foundation stone on which we are building our lives?
The church is community, living stones in the building of God. We need to recapture a vision of the church as fellowship, as living stones in the building of God. Moreover, there is a great need for better quality mortar.
From The Radical Disciple: Some Neglected Aspects of Our Calling. Copyright ©2012 by John Stott. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.
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