Living Stones Are What Again Now?
By: Rebecca Garrett Pace, Minister of Worship & The Arts

“Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house.” 1 Peter 2:5a
I had a professor in college who was (still is) a composer. He’s very much into the ethereal genre of music, composing long, fluid lines that blend into one another and create beautiful, rich soundscapes that you didn’t think were even possible with mere mortal voices. He’s that guy who, instead of writing “moderately slowly,” like a normal person, writes instead “smoothly, serenely, as if suspended in amber.” (Actual instruction. For real.)
He did a setting of this text from 1 Peter for choir called “Come to Him,” and I so wish I could find a recording of it to share with you, because it’s so, so cool. No luck so far, but I’ll keep looking. Suffice it to say, it really does sound like the choir’s voices are suspended in amber. As the vocal lines grow and build, it sounds like each singer is no longer one voice, but is instead part of a bigger whole - much like many individual stones being laid by an expert stone mason to become not just individual objects but also one glorious masterpiece.
Isn’t that what we talk about so regularly in worship? Many grains, one loaf of Communion bread. Many hearts, one prayer lifted to God. Many different skills, talents, and gifts — one body of Christ.
Our differences and individualities are not erased when we become part of this “spiritual house” — far from it! It’s exactly these differences that we need in order for our communities to be strong and vibrant. Just as each stone in a house has a different textured face, different markings, different hues, so too do our own lives join together not in one monolith, but in a beautiful, textured, rough-and-smooth, square-and-wonky spiritual house. So may it ever be.

Read the full text for this week’s Epistle passage here (it’s literally 2 verses longer than what I already quoted). As you read it, and potentially re-read it, reflect on the following questions:
  1. How are you both an individual and also part of a bigger whole? 
  2. How are you using your individual gifts and talents as one “living stone” to build something bigger than yourself?
  3. What songs or hymns come to mind for you when you think of many-things-becoming-one imagery? What can those songs and hymns teach us about ourselves, and about God?

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