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Sunday, 14 May 2017

"A Cornerstone... Chosen and Precious."

"I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully.  I ask for patience, tolerance, empathy, compassion and gentleness.  I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, arrogance, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, and self-importance.  I ask to know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly."

1 Peter 2:2-6
2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture:
‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
   a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’

1) "...long for the pure, spiritual milk;" "...grow into salvation;" "...the Lord is good;" "...come to him;" "...a living stone;" "...chosen and precious;" " living stones;" "...a spiritual house;" "...a holy priesthood;" "...spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ;" "...chosen and precious;"

2) a rich text.  Once again, full of possible breathprayers: "Long for ...spiritual milk;" "grow... into salvation;" "taste... the Lord is good;" "Come to him... a living stone;" "come to him... chosen and precious;" "a cornerstone... chosen and precious;" I could go on with several combinations: texts to sit with and absorb in their own merit.  "Chosen and precious" is not a statement of exclusion ("WE" are chosen and "THEY" are not), it is a statement of affirmation to those who are outcast from their communities of origin because of their sense of call to follow Christ (you ARE chosen; you ARE precious).  And every member is chosen, a holy priesthood.  The author is speaking to the whole community here, all are to long for the pure, spiritual milk; all are to grow into salvation; all are living stones - rejected; all are to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God; all are chosen and precious.

3) What is the invitation here?  To choose to act as though I am chosen and precious, and the person or persons with whom I am interacting is chosen and precious.  To honour my subject-hood and the subject-hood of the "other."

"Holy One, teach me to treat those 'rejected by mortals' as chosen and precious in your sight, like living stones to be built into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to you through Christ Jesus."

Breathprayer: "A cornerstone... chosen and precious."

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