by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Memorials are a time-honored tradition of humanity. They are markers to help us maneuver through the future, as we ponder the victories and defeats of the past. Yet, so often, we fail to heed them and continue to suffer from the same maladies.
The Apostle Peter writes during times of persecution and if we heed his words in this light, they bring special potency to our own mission.
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit,” you ought to love their brethren (1 Peter 1:22, NKJV). They were “born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible” (1 Peter 1:23). They were born again through the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:8-9). However, they were also born again through the word of God, since it leads us to Christ (Romans 10:9-10).
Jesus is described as the “living stone” that was rejected by men but chosen by God (1 Peter 2:4). The persecutors of the brethren were no match for Jesus. He was the rock, an unstoppable force (Matthew 7:24-25). Likewise, by being in Christ, they were also living stones (1 Peter 2:5).
The word “living” is the same used in John 4:10 of the “living water.” It is vibrant and vigorous and fills us with victory. “Every item in an earthly temple is of dead, lifeless material; but everything is living in the temple which Peter has in mind.”/1 We will be “built up a spiritual house” to stand for the cause of Christ (1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 3:20-21).
Which stones do we use to construct the spiritual house? What principles do we cling to with all of our might in order to remain faithful to God? These foundation beliefs sustain us every day of our lives.
First, God and his word are always good and nothing that happens to us can change this fact.
Second, the vibrancy of Scripture will always sustain us through sunshine and rain.
Third, God’s grace and mercy transcend anything that man and Satan place before us. They are the fuel coursing through the veins of God’s people.
Fourth, the unyielding commitment that God has for his children should propel us to be just as resolute (Romans 8:37-39).
These memorial stones should be a beacon of hope when we feel weak and wavering. Their signal call pierces the darkness and returns us hungrily to the light and the arms of our Savior.
1/ Raymond C. Kelcy, The Letters of Peter and Jude in the Living Word Commentary Series edited by Everett Ferguson (Austin: R.B. Sweet, 1972), 44.