Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 14

I Peter 2:4-5 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Where does one go to find God? For Israel in the Old Testament, God made His dwelling place the temple in Jerusalem. They knew He was their God and they were His people because of His presence in that building. It was there that the priests would offer up sacrifices for the sins of the people. If God was going to be among sinners, sacrifices for those sinners had to be made.

But that temple has been made obsolete in the coming of Jesus. Peter tells us that we have come, not to worship in a structure made by bricks, but to a living Stone! That is, we have come to Jesus, who is Immanuel, God with us. Though He was rejected by humans, God dwelt among us in Him. If you want to find God, look to Jesus.

But, as you know, He does not walk around on the streets anymore. He is not some guru we can go find meditating on a mountain. Now He dwells among us in His Word and in His sacraments. There He shows up to give us the forgiveness and life He won for us by His sacrifice on the cross. Because He dwells there, when we gather as His Christians to hear His Word and receive His gifts, we too become living stones. We are the living temple where Christ is found. We gather and offer up our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, and because Jesus shed his blood for our sins, the Father is well pleased with our sacrifices.

Father, we thank you that your Son put on flesh to dwell among us. We thank you that He dwells with all the faithful. Teach us to offer up acceptable spiritual sacrifices through your Son, the Lamb who bled for us. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *
Pastor Bob


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