Living Stones

Peter begins his epistle with an invocation of blessing because of the living hope established by the resurrection. He says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Very soon he begins to develop a figure from the building of the temple, whose stones were cut in the quarries and required only to be set in place by the builders. It was said that one stone, rejected by the builders, became an obstacle and an annoyance until at the very last its place was found for it; hence the words of the psalm: "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."

Speaking of the graciousness of the one whom he had once so clearly identified, saying, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," Peter invites those with newborn desire for purity to come to him. "To whom coming," he says, "as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house."

To human sense, which views humanity personally, the metaphysical meaning of the apostle would not be discerned. Human history would make us believe that there never has been an equality of opportunity for all men, never an equable sharing of good. Always, it would say, there have been prince and pauper, baron and serf, opulence and penury, arrogance and servitude. The conception Christianity introduced was revolutionary in this respect, that old things passed away. Not through catastrophe, but through enlightenment, did all things become new; and the change is well expressed by Paul when he says, "We should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter," and declares that we should "walk in newness of life." Simply expressed, the newness is in our expecting good from Spirit, not from matter; looking for praise from God, not from men; finding our life not in body, but in sonship with God.

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God's Gifts
September 6, 1924

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