Read: 1 Peter 2:5-10
5 you 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. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 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. (NIV 1 Peter 2:5-10)
Study: Peter’s description of what it means to belong to God’s people, the church, showed how New Testament Christians found Jesus’ work and its effects all through the Old Testament. Verse 6 quoted Isaiah 28:16; verse 7 drew on Psalm 118:22; verse 8 used Isaiah 8:14. Verse 9 took language that first applied to Israel in Exodus 19:6, and verse 10 played off the sadly symbolic names of Hosea’s children in Hosea 1. Peter’s point was that God’s mercy draws and shapes us all into a community in order to bear witness to God’s marvelous light. Peter applied powerful Old Testament terms for Israel to God’s people, the church, calling them (us) “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (verse 9). How can we as a faith community show God’s grace and light in ways we can’t do alone? How can a sense that together we are God’s hands in the world help us better understand the meaning of “church”?
Prayer: Lord God, I often fail you, yet you call me chosen, holy, a part of a royal priesthood. Help me each day as I seek to live into the amazing titles with which you honor me. Amen.