Living Stones

Waco Tornado Stone

There is a memorial at the intersection of 4th street and Austin Ave in downtown Waco, Texas. It is a stone cut into the shape of a teardrop. The following is engraved into the face of the stone:

“On May 11, 1953, one of the deadliest tornadoes in United States history descended on downtown Waco and shocked the soul of a community. This commemorative honors the memory of 114 people who died in that storm and celebrates the spirit of the community that survived.”

On the back of the stone, the names of the 114 people are listed. It is a somber feeling as you stand in front of this stone. You can’t help to picture what the city of Waco would have looked like in the 1950’s. Your mind pictures the devastation of buildings and homes. Your heart aches for friends and families who lost loved ones. Yet, it is somber feeling that you will only experience in front of this stone.   The stone causes the feeling. The stone brings along the memories. I only think of the 114 people who died when standing at this memorial stone. It is fixed. It is always at the corner of 4th and Austin.

Not so with those who come to Jesus. We are to be living stones – taking Jesus with us everywhere we go. Our words and our actions should resemble Jesus. They should cause people to make a choice: Place trust in Jesus or stumble over him.

“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.” – 1 Peter 2:4-5

When we come to Jesus we become living stones. It’s our new identity as the church.

My Name is Sticker.png

Let’s talk about a few common sources for identity:

  • Often tied to family (last name, our children)
  • Often tied to profession (teacher, preacher, construction worker)
  • Often tied to failures (addict, divorced, sinner)
  • Often tied to the opinion of others (ugly, pretty, stuck up, go-getter)

Yet for those in Christ, you have a better source for your identity. Your true identity is found in Jesus Christ.

It is the church that is being built into a spiritual house, built into a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices.

Peter uses language that once described the Temple. He speaks of a spiritual house – the Temple. He speaks of a priesthood – who worked in the Temple. He speaks of sacrifices – which took place in the Temple. Yet, when Peter uses these words he is not describing a stationary building made of stone. He uses these words to describe living stones, those who follow Jesus Christ. God no longer resides in a building, but through Jesus Christ he resides in us. The church – people, not a building.

As part of our identity as living stones God is building us into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood as we offer spiritual sacrifices.

Our identity in Christ further detailed:

Identity in Christ (see 1 Peter 2:9-10)

  • Chosen people
  • Royal priesthood
  • Holy nation
  • God’s special possession
  • Declarers of praise
  • People freed from darkness
  • People of God
  • Receivers of mercy

When we come to Jesus we become living stones. It’s our new identity as the church.


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