Peter goes on in chapter 2 to say: “As you come to him, a living stone, who was rejected by people, but who is actually a select, precious stone in God’s eyes, you also yourselves are being built like living stones into a royal priesthood.”
It’s as if there was a building that had to be built on earth. God had one set of blueprints and humanity had another. In God’s plans there was open space and freedom to move around and abundant provisions and friendship and peace and everybody participating working together- Amazing adaptive sustainable environmental wonder of a creation. But in humanity’s plans there was hierarchical-enticement and selfish-envy and seizure of power and secret desires and plans for self-gain and self-pride and self-pleasure and neglect of others. Which one do we really want to live in… but which one are we usually tempted to construct our lives by?
So God, according to his good plans, presents the earth with the first stone, upon which everything was to be built. "Here is my Son Jesus," God said. "He’s incredible. He’s coming down to you to serve you. I’m really pleased with him. He’s cut from the same cloth as me. He is a select, precious stone in my eyes. Those who build themselves on this Living Stone will become living stones like him. And a beautiful house will be constructed." But humanity took one look at God’s stone, and rejected it. Humanity lusts after itself and wanted a grand building- one where people step all over each other to get the best window office higher and higher. Humanity’s plans treats people like all in all they’re just another brick in the wall. Dead stones which are only good to be used to support somebody’s self-glorification and self-seeking goals. Just bricks. Just walls. Just slaves. Not precious stones, not select material, not valued, not special, not loved, not free, not alive.
But because of Jesus, when we are laid on him, we become stones that are alive and as we’re all doing that we are to be pieced together in a way that builds each other up. That is the type of building Jesus laid the foundation for. Gems and precious stones serving each other. We, each one of us together, become parts of what God is doing. The priesthood, the ones who serve God and serve each other, is you and me, us being constructed together on the foundation of the living cornerstone of Jesus Christ.
We are a living building. Think about that for a minute. Think about what a bunch of living stones constructed together might look like. Where does this building go during the week? It’s alive… it’s moving… Where do all these living stones move? Think about all the people who follow Jesus- imagine them going all about their daily lives all over the world… Who are they interacting with? Who are they going to live in front of this week? Imagine all the experiences they will be living through? Who are they running into? What lives can they change this week? What needs can they meet? What situations will they be in where their faith can shine?! Imagine all the places they go and all the people they talk to and interact with? It’s likely that the person next to you is going to run into some dead stones, some stoners, some dead-heads this week… wouldn’t it be amazing if the person next to you could help those dead stones become alive because of Jesus?! Doesn’t it seem that that is what a bunch of living stones should do? Doesn’t it just seem right that a stone that has tasted the kindness of Jesus would try to invite everybody for dinner? God’s kindness is not something that we deserve to keep to ourselves! And doesn’t it just seem right that we do this not because of how special we are but because of how special God’s for us… and for everyone?! And doesn’t it just seem right that we don’t do this alone, but we are all doing this all over the world together? I think that most stones would cry out to be a part of something alive and vibrant and meaningful. I think that most stones don’t want to be a part of a grey unmoving cinder block wall. Our job, each one of us together, is to touch those stones with the life that comes from Jesus!
1 Peter 2:9 says, “You are a royal priesthood.” You are priests. You’re ministers for the Gospel. You are. Yes, you. All of us who know Jesus, we are a priestly bunch. We are the LAOS of God. Sometimes we can act like idiots… but we need to remember that we have become precious stones with a precious purpose in God’s living plan to save precious people. You are priests. You have been so loved by God that you now so love others. You have been chosen to share God with the people you will be living among. Let’s do this together, collectively as one church.
So, as priests, draw near to God, be chiseled and shaped by his hands. Lead others to the kindness of Jesus Christ. As you go, make disciples… whatever you do or say, let it be as representatives of the Lord Jesus.