November Devotion

And you also, as living stones, be built up and become spiritual temples
and holy Priests to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable before God……. 1 Peter 2:5

 

When you first read this, you think: What an oxymoron!! How can this be?? Living stones?….are there any such things??….not in the geology or earth science class. There are fossils and 50-million-year-old parasites trapped inside Baltic amber. But living stones? There are Lithops plants in southern Africa. They look like stones but they are not living stones but rather succulents.

Rather I believe this is a picture of what God wants to do for each of us. Turn our bag of bones bodies from calcified beings; breathing life into us and turn us to prayer and praise for his name. We can begin living rather than existing by living spiritually rather than physically.

So what kind of living stone are we to be?

Like a molcajete the Mexican version of the mortar and pestle used for grinding food. A working stone. To preach, teach, organize and plan church activities or maintain God’s wonderful earth and His churches.

Or a glamourous, glittering, glitzy gem formed by heat and pressure to joyfully praise his name and encourage one another. Sing His praises! Alleluias to His name!

Or the minerals from hot springs for stomach ailments and with other healing powers. These stones give comfort, joy and encourage peace.

Or limestone carved into blocks and key stones to build churches and homes. Blocks become a foundation and the keystones are the central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole arch together to form the wonderful architecture of the European cathedrals. Buildings provide sanctuary from life’s perilous times.

Whatever stone we are, we are to be spiritual temples offering sacrifices, assistance and aid to the world in Christ’s name. Just as the minerals and stones make God’s beautiful earth, we are to build our stones together to make God’s church.

A bumper sticker says: it’s what you build; not what you buy.

We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

And in Galatians 6:10.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.

 

May we be grounded in our faith, and our actions be a blessing to our church family

Amen

This was devotion was presented at the October 26th meeting of the officers of the NTNL. Sunday October 27th lectionary Celebrate had several references that might say it best: In Isaiah the people are bid to look to their spiritual ancestors as the rock from which they were hewn. Jesus declares that the church will be built on the rock of Peter’s bold confession of faith. God’s word of reconciliation and mercy are keys to the church’s mission. Paul urges us to not be conformed to this world, but to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, using our individual gifts to build up the body of Christ.
The Prayer of the Day: O God, with all your faithful followers of every age, we praise you, the rock of our life. Be our strong foundation and form us into the body of your Son, that we may gladly minister to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

September Devotion

As I sit here remembering my recent trip to Germany, July 30-August 9, to be specific, I am extremely grateful and thankful that we had such a wonderful trip full of exciting times and seeing all things Luther. To attend Sunday church services, which were in German, at All Saints Church in Wittenberg, commonly called the Castle church, and to participate in communion that Sunday and then exit through the 95 Theses Doors was a truly moving experience and one that I will remember always. The original doors were replaced years ago with bronze doors that have the Theses written on them. This church is also the burial site of Martin Luther in 1546.

We saw Luther’s birth house, death house, the church where all his children were baptized, and the house he and Katie and the children resided in. We spent one day in Berlin visiting sites there. We also toured Eisleben, Leizig, Halle, Erfurt, Eisenach, and Frankfort. Our tour ended with a visit to Wartburg Castle and a tour of it.

To sit and look at the pictures I took and remember the good times fills me with thankfulness that our trip was so peaceful and without mishap. God was with us. There were 26 members of our tour. Most were members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Waco, Texas.

Peggy Tooker

St. Matthews, Waco