1 Peter 2:2-10

May 7, 2023

The Rev. Todd R. Goddard, Pastor

Rush United Methodist Church

1 Peter 2:2-10

Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like 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. For 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.”

To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

| Centering Prayer |

This command has always been

personally spiritually inspiring:

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”



Two of the vital five senses

Are requested to enter the realm of divine discernment.

I can get a sense of seeing that the Lord is good.

It comes from an observation of God’s encounters with humankind.

Every serious evaluation

Demands a personal commitment

To a process,

Gathering information and data,

study and analysis,

Before any consideration about the goodness of the Lord can be made.

Given a lifetime of both academic and devotional study of the scriptures,

I am able to see with my own eyes

The trajectory of God’s goodness

Over salvation history.

God’s goodness is always increasing,

Never ending,

An essential characteristic of grace.

But taste?

How does one taste the Lord?

As Peter implies.


Peter writes to spiritual infants,

Newly minted Christ followers,

Crucifixion proclaimers,

Resurrection witnesses,

Gob-smacked observers

of an ascending, flying Jesus up into the clouds above.

“Holy cow, Johnny! Did you see that up there?”

“Jesus just went up way in the middle of the air.”

“Yeah, I know,” Billy, “I saw it, too.”

“And he told us he’s going to return,

So we’d better be ready.”

“We gotta go tell the world!”

Spiritual development is similar to personality development.

As an infant changes into toddler,

Then from toddler to child,

From child to teen,

Teen to young, middle, and older adulthood,

From adulthood to senior,

And senior to elderly;

The brain changes.

New synaptic connections are woven into a network

That becomes increasingly capable of

understanding, communicating, discerning.

Life experiences … teach.

Education … expands a person’s world view.

Travel … transforms the way we view and think about the world.

Experience … informs how complex, delicate, and necessary relationships are to maintain health and wellbeing.

Linguistic competence … opens our aperture of understanding.

In a similar way is the spiritual.

Invitation becomes acceptance.

Bible study, Christian education, and preaching creates a familiarity with scripture.

Service follows example, leads by example, becomes the foundation for humility.

Mission becomes the hands and heart of Jesus,

loving God and loving our neighbors in need.

Evangelism is the release of contagious enthusiasm for Jesus,

Living by his example,

Making the invitation for others to claim

what we have already been given

which is free for the taking.

Spiritual development takes time.

It cannot, will not be rushed.

There is no easy way around it,

No shortcuts,

No privilege or legacy.

It may lag,

But only surges

By the Spirit’s will.

Refreshing is the Christian

Who eagerly seeks

To fulfill completely

God’s present expectations

And anticipates with whetted appetite for

tomorrow’s spiritual growth.

The only means of communication for an infant

Is to cry out.


Interruption isn’t distraction.

Interruption is the point!

The intensity, volume, and frequency gives a sense of need.

Complete dependence makes for

A needy, crying baby.

So, too, with the new Christian.

When the cry is the only tool in the toolbox,

Often is it used.

To gain attention.

To be cleaned.

To be fed.

To be warmed.

To be loved.

To be saved.

‘Cry to the heavenly Father,’

Peter encourages new Christians,

Deployed to foreign lands,

Facing the stiff winds of resistance, persecution, and martyrdom.

Cry with longing

to be spiritually fed,

To be nourished for a lifelong journey

That results into the divine gift of transformative grace;

Sins washed clean,

Mortality replaced with immortality,

Death, crying, mourning, and pain no more,

Drinking from the life giving

fountain of the water of life. 

“Come” Peter invites,

At the same time promoting the invitation.

“Come to him,” the subject,

Not identified, yet known.

“Come to Jesus, a living stone,” Peter casts a new metaphor.

The good shepherd,

The gate,

The vine,

The way, truth, and life

Is fleshed out in greater detail

With the image of a living stone.

A living stone.

“What are we to believe?” the new apostles stammered.

Believe Jesus, Peter writes.

Believe Jesus,

Precious, yet solid;

Rejected, yet the head, the top, the one in charge;

Light, who calls us out of darkness;

Mercy, an island in an unmerciful world.

Stones; inert, inanimate, lifeless,

Whose value is apparently limited to building materials;

Footers, foundations, and the like.

Stones; the balance of gravitational and vector forces.

Stones; bigger is better,

Chemically bonded rigidness,

an unmoving, unshakeable, indestructible foundation.






Jesus, the elemental first stone to be laid,

Upon which all other stones find stability and strength.

Jesus, a living cornerstone,

Upon which

We can build our spiritual house,

Develop holiness,

A fidelity to God,

Scripture, and truth.

Upon Christ we can build

A faithful life,

Chosen as God’s own royalty.

Christ, our cornerstone

Is a firm foundation to launch us

On a mission to the world

to proclaim Christ,

an invitation,

persuasion and attraction,


to believe Christ:

Crucified, resurrected, ascended to heaven, and vowed to return.




Invited and accepted.


Pride and shame

Is so baked into our neurons,

Hardwired to involuntary respond when threatened.

“Whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” Peter promises.

What others think

means nothing

to the faithful.

The only concern is

what God thinks of you, of me.

Do we pass muster when it comes to God’s judgment?

“You will not be put to shame.”

Temptation and failure

Is as old as Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel.

“Lead us not into temptation,” Jesus teaches us to pray,

Jesus teaches his disciples to petition our heavenly Father.

No intermediary.

Go straight to the top.

Take Jesus with you.

Christ, always by our side,

Leads us away from the risk of stumbling, failure, or fall.
It is my own stubborn free-will

That objects to Christ’s directives,

The Spirit’s gentle nudge.

Christ is no trip hazard.

Jesus is our strong foundation,

Upon which

The Church is built,

One disciple.

One disciple at a time.

Beginning with you.

What are we to believe?

Peter delivers in spades.

Believe the fact that …

You are a work in progress.

Your spiritual life has grown, but be humble.

You still have a long way to grow.

Be patient.

Believe the fact that …

Christ is your cornerstone.

Build your spiritual house on him.

Be persistent.

Believe the fact that …

Accountability begins and ends with God.

Stand firm.

Make no apologies.

Believe the fact that …

Life in Christ is a life absent of fear.

Stand tall.

Place your confidence in Christ.

In Christ

We are chosen.

In Christ

We live in his light.

In Christ

We are immersed in an ocean of mercy.


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