At 13,077 feet on Notch Mountain (13,248), across from Mount of the Holy Cross, is a stone house that serves as a welcome from the unpredictable and deadly weather. The stone house was constructed in 1924 of odd-shaped stones gathered from its surroundings. No two stones are alike and there are no neat, straight mortar joints. But it is remarkably sturdy and safe (lightning rods and all!). It has been a very popular destination for pilgrims who wished to worship the Lord in view of the cross created on the eastern face of Mount of the Holy Cross. When I was there, not as a pilgrim but as a hiker on the Halo route around the famous mountain, the wind was roaring and we could hardly stand. But inside the stone house all was calm and quiet, and we could rest from our battle against the wind.
In this week's mediation in preparation for the sermon on Sunday, we will hear Peter talk about another stone house, and it is a wonderful picture! Read carefully I Peter 2:4-8, and let the questions listed below help you think about what the Lord wants to say to us through this delightful metaphor.
- How would you describe your life in the Church? In what ways have you been an active part of the life of the Church? Have you felt like an integral part of the Church? Why or why not?
- Peter uses the metaphor of a spiritual house to describe the Church. Paul did the same. Read Ephesians 2:19-22. What do you learn about the Church from this passage?
- What does Peter say is true about us when we come to faith in Jesus (vv. 4-5)?
* Is this something we consciously do or something He does?
* Do we have a say in this?
* What do you think?
4. Why might it be significant that Peter calls us "living stones" instead of "living bricks"?
5. What do you think it means for us to be a holy priesthood? What do priests do?
6. What do you think are some "spiritual sacrifices" we offer "acceptable to God through Jesus Christ?" (v. 5. Do you have a concordance that can help you find New Testament sacrifices?)
* Is there a spiritual sacrifice that you resonate with? Why or why not?
7. What does this passage reveal about Jesus? Who is He?
* Where is Peter getting his information?
8. What is the promise to us who believe in Jesus?
9. How do you think Jesus is "A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense" (v. 8)? Is He that way today? You might also consider I Corinthians 1:18-25.
10. How do you understand the last part of verse 8, "They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do"? (You might read Proverbs 16:4 and Romans 9:6-26 as well).
11. What did you hear today from the Lord about His Church?
*What is your place?
* What is your role?
God be with you! And Lord willing we will see you on Sunday!