I am big fan of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s books. They have been part of the foundation to my understanding of discipleship, spiritual formation, and life within the body of Christ. I am particularly fond of Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together. I try to read it at least once a year. I highly recommend it if you are interested in the relationship between discipleship and being apart of the church. I have learned a lot about what it means to be in community and what it means to present with one another as the body of Christ. However, I still feel like there is much to learn. I recently read through 1 Peter and was challenged by 1 Peter 2:1-10. In light of my interest in community, I have latched on to verse 5 which states
like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ.
I think this verse is significant for those who believe the church is nothing more than the building we meet in on Sunday mornings. I have known many folks who are members of the body of Christ, but fail to see the church as more than the building in which they meet. If we hold this verse to be true (and we should), then God’s church is built upon the people who make up the body of Christ. Those who follow after Jesus, are living stones built around the capstone of Christ. This is how the church is built and the Kingdom of God is expanded.
Perhaps our churches would be much healthier if each member resolved to see themselves as a living stone, or brick, in God’s building process. There were many men and women of faith who came before us to lay a solid foundation for our churches and there will be men and women of faith who will come after us and use our faith as their foundation to continue God’s building process. May we all allow for God to move us from individual living stones to a spiritual house where we all may serve Him.
Questions for reflection:
- When you talk about church, is it a building or is it the people?
- Have you considered your role as a living stone as part of the building process?
- If we are apart of a holy priesthood, what does that mean for how interact with those inside and outside of the church?