“And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.” (1 Peter 2:5, NLT)
We live in a world of 7.9 billion people; yet we’ve never been lonelier. We’ve never felt so alone. We spend our time staring at screens and participating in life virtually.
One author says that America was in an epidemic of loneliness and that social isolation was the functional status of American life before the COVID pandemic. Our government’s shut down and social distancing mandates only deepened our issues.
Now, we’re having a hard time returning to normal. Friendships have been significantly diminished and have been replaced by screen “friendships.” We’ve added faction “friendships” – the nation is more polarized than ever.
And all of this has negatively impacted the church.
Peter imagines the church as a great temple, a cathedral. It is a place that inspires awe and reveals a holy God. The mason constructing the building is God Himself. The stones He uses are you and me.
From a large pile, a stone is chosen for its shape, size, and color. Rough corners are knocked off with a chisel. The mortar is added, and each stone is placed one on top of another, on top of another until a spire or an altar appears.
God is building His church. We are the building blocks. But we can’t be what we’re supposed to be until we know what God first intended, where we are at the moment, and how to rebuild our community.
My sermon series, “Living Stones: The Significance of Community,” begins on March 6. I hope you’ll join us. This week we have a very special guest speaker, Austin Mann – no relation! I hope you’ll be here!