Reflecting on I Peter 2: 4-9
We’re in the weather disaster season now. Here in Colorado we are praying that last year’s house-leveling floods won’t pave the way for this year’s melting snowpack to turn into raging torrents in the same areas.
The author of the second reading today knew the shock of seeing his home destroyed too. Imagine living in Jerusalem about 40 years after the resurrection. Jewish “zealots”―read terrorists―had ambushed and killed enough Roman soldiers in the late 60s to bring the wrath and military might of the Roman Empire right into Jerusalem.
If you’re ever in Rome, visit the Arch of Titus to see its depictions of the triumphal sack of Jerusalem in 70, and the sacred vessels (and prisoners in chains) brought back to Rome. The city of Jerusalem was left in flames, and its great Temple was left, as Jesus prophesied, with not one stone standing.
Now imagine this New Testament author standing amid the burning rubble, seeing the cornerstone of the Temple laying in ruins, and coming to this beautiful realization: Jesus is the Living Stone, the Stone who gives life and meaning to a dying world. And we are the living stones, the stones who stand in perfect symmetry and intimacy with the Living Stone.
The dead stones of Great King Herod’s Temple are still sitting there, 709,634 days later. They’ve never been moved. Meanwhile, the work of the living stones of most religious traditions―hospitals, schools, refugee centers, hospices, charitable work of every kind, companionship with those who are poor, and the preaching of the Good News―gathers momentum and energy every second of every day.
I love being a living stone in a building that will never die.
How do you experience your faith as a living stone?