Peter was writing to a group of people who had been exiled from Jerusalem. These same early Christians (mostly converted Jews) believed that the only true worship took place at the Temple. The problem was, they were not allowed in the temple. Peter acknowledges that God’s people have always equated worship with a physical structure. It made sense considering the Temple was a massive and ornate structure that was built for that purpose. Also, God blessed the building of it in the first place. Even then, there was something ultimately missing.
So, what were the believers supposed to do now? They were far from the worship center, and many didn’t really know if the Temple was still standing or not. Some scholarly Jews would have even thought about the stories of Ezra, Nehemiah, Obadiah, and other prophets. In their day, the Temple was destroyed and in need of rebuilding, and it is possible that these early Christians sensed the same fate was around the corner for their Temple because the Romans had complete control.
Peter encourages these Jesus followers by emphasizing the vital role that their faith and continual worship play in their daily lives. He tells them that worship is not bound by 4 walls, but it is an outflow of who we are as followers. Stones stacked up on each other do not dictate our worship. We can praise the Lord with our mouth, and by our actions. Stones were never central to our faith. Jesus is the foundation.
Compare the second half of this passage to Romans 12 when Paul calls Christians to present their bodies as living sacrifices. When we read this, we realize that we no longer have use for slaughtered animals in our worship expression. We are the ones who give to Him ourselves daily.
Spend today looking at everything you do as an expression of worship. This is what holiness looks like.
Prayer for today: God, help me to keep on track and follow you with everything that I am. Amen
This post was written by Rev DeCrastos. You can find his blog here: www.ministrysauce.com