Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:4-5
We who “come” to Jesus Christ, this “living stone”, we “who believe” in him, end up possessing all that is his. In him we possess the fullness of God’s glory.
I used to hear my Dad refer to one of my friends as a ‘chip off the old block,’ meaning that my friend was a carbon copy of his dad. At some point I wondered if I was a ‘chip off of the old block’ or a carbon copy of either of my parents. As I viewed my parents, I could see that some of my traits were a bit like my mom and some a bit like my dad, and I am still learning that I have a lot of each of them in my character, and my habits, but I also miss the mark in many ways of being like them. As I think about Christians being living stones, I think about that phrase ‘chip off the old block.’ Some may think that phrase refers to a block of wood, but I relate it to a stone because stones can chip also.
Peter was trying to tell the new Christians he was writing to that they were also a ‘chip off the old block’ so to speak. As they grew in their faith in Jesus Christ they became more like him and were formed into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices to God.
We are also ‘a chip off the old block’, living stones, like Jesus our corner stone. We are precious in God’s sight and we are becoming more like Jesus as we grow in our faith. Whether we recognize any resemblance between us and Jesus, we were recreated in our baptism to become like Him. Throughout life we are growing and changing to be more like our Jesus, our Corner Stone. We live as people who are in the process of becoming precious stones.
How do living stones respond to a world turned upside down by a viral infection that lurks everywhere we go? Our spiritual sacrifices are extremely important and valuable to God in these times of global fear. As people suffer from coronavirus, from sheer loneliness of being separated from others, or fear of getting the virus, we can continue becoming a ‘chip off the old block’ by sharing God’s love with them, helping others, praying for them, calling them on the phone, emailing them, or connecting with them on various forms of social media. We can help feed those who are hungry, and help support essential workers in the medical profession or other necessary professions.
A ‘chip off the old block’ living stone stays connected to Jesus, the corner stone, and connected to each other, and in our relationships we stay alive. Without being connected to Christ and each other we simply become dead stones. As we stay connected to others the spiritual blessings of our Corner Stone keeps us fed and nourished to grow more and more like our Corner Stone, Jesus Christ each day of our lives.
- How are you staying connected with others during this time of social distancing?
- Has the social distancing practices made you appreciate even more the gathering together for worship that you have been missing?
- What does it mean for you to be a ‘chip off the old block’ like Jesus and how do you see this happening in your life?
Sue is NLS Spiritual Director, since 2019 and is a retired Lutheran Pastor (ELCA). Active in VdC since 1995, she has served two terms on the Board of the Texas VdC Secretariat, and also on the Texas Gulf Coast VdC Board as Spiritual Director since its start-up in 2017.