Tuesday, February 22, 2011

1 Peter 2:9-10 - Winter Retreat shows God's people at work

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9-10

Summary: We are a chosen race, God's own people. God called us out of darkness into God's light.

Thoughts: We are the people of God. God has claimed us. We were called by God our of the darkness that we inhabit, into the marvelous light of God.  How would our lives be different if we lived as if we were God's people? I think I saw an example of this a week ago at Holy Covenant UMC's youth Winter Retreat.  It was a beautiful weekend. The days were warm, which was much appreciated since it had been snowing only a few days before and had been bitterly cold (for Dallas, anyway!). We went to Turner Falls in Oklahoma for the day, but much of the snow and ice that had fallen had not melted there. So the paths that are normally easy to scramble up and down were much more treacherous. It was there that I saw a youth group, that often splits into specific sub-groups, turn into a cohesive whole. I saw chains of 8-10 youth helping each other down the mountainside and some youth going back up to help others down. Unfortunately, we did have one injury (sorry Katelyn!) but I believe that it could have been much worse if we had not all been working together to help each other. What if we took this lesson, that the path is easier to traverse when working together, and extended it to our daily lives? What if we lived as God's people, treating everyone else around us as a special child of God? How would the world be different?

Prayer: Lord, help me to live as one of your chosen people, loving those around me unconditionally. Amen.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

1 Peter 2:4-8 - Bricked into a wall or into a fluid community?

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:4-8

Summary: Christ is the cornerstone of our spiritual houses.

Thoughts: There is some interesting imagery in this scripture. For example, "like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house."  At first glance, this makes me nervous. Being built into a spiritual house sounds like allowing yourself to be bricked into a wall. It sounds restricting, like once it happened you would never be able to move or change again! Perhaps I could instead think about being built into a spiritual house like my church congregation, which is fluid and ever changing, but built on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ. For with Christ as our foundation, there is so much opportunity to effect a change in our world. We can be a spiritual house that reaches out to others. We can be a spiritual house that not only invites others to join us, but that goes out into the community to change it for the better. Making change is very difficult. But with Christ as our foundation, as our cornerstone, we can not only change our community, we can change the world, one person at a time!

Prayer: Christ, our cornerstone, chosen and precious, give us strength, support us, so that we your brothers and sisters in love, might be your hands and feet in this world. Amen.