Behind Wildwood Community Church lay stacks and stacks of cinder blocks. Left by themselves, each block is a boring/relatively useless object. In fact, if you scattered these blocks around town, putting one block in the front yard of a house on every street, many people would simply view the blocks as a nuisance, and want to throw the block away on the trash heap. By themselves, the blocks have potential but no purpose.
Given my description of these stones, you might wonder why we spent good money to purchase them. We did not buy these stones, however, to scatter them aimlessly around town. We purchased these stones to stack them together into structure inside our new children’s ministry building. These stones will eventually become the 40 foot high tower that will surround our existing back entrance and form the transitional corner between our existing building and our soon to be added Children’s Ministry space. Apart the stones have potential, but together they have purpose for all to see.
I was thinking about those piles of stones as I reflected on 1 Peter 2:5 which describes believers inside the church this way, “You (Christians) also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” This passage compares believers to stones that God is stacking together into a “Temple” for worship. Like any house, the “spiritual house” of 1 Peter 2:5 is not built with just one stone. It takes many stones (many Christians) stacked together to build the spiritual house of worship that God desires.
As American Christians today, I think we have a temptation to make the Christian life only an intensely personal experience. Since we all have access to a Bible, and since we all can go before the Lord in prayer on our own, it is a temptation for us to think that the best expressions of our Christian faith can be done in our morning quiet times of personal study and reflection. While I do think that personal times of study and prayer and essential, this passage tells me that the fullness of God’s “spiritual house of worship” still is best lived out in community with others. When we stack together in small group Bible Study, prayer groups, serving teams, or corporate worship services, we experience a level of worship that I believe surpasses what we can accomplish on our own. When the stones stack they have more than just potential, they have purpose and power.
Think about that this week as you may view your fellowship opportunities as a scheduling nuisance and want to toss them on the trash heap. God has not simply saved you so that you can be the lone stone on the street. He has saved you so that He might stack you into His spiritual house of worship together with all the saints.
“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.” – 1 Peter 2:10