Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Search
Close this search box.

God uses physical spaces to build a living spiritual temple

September 23, 2023
SHARE

Daily Scripture

Acts 2:42-46, 5:12-14, 1 Peter 2:1-5, 9-10

Acts 2
42 The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. 43 A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. 44 All the believers were united and shared everything. 45 They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. 46 Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity.

Acts 5
12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. They would come together regularly at Solomon’s Porch. 13 No one from outside the church dared to join them, even though the people spoke highly of them. 14 Indeed, more and more believers in the Lord, large numbers of both men and women, were added to the church.

1 Peter 2
1 Therefore, get rid of all ill will and all deceit, pretense, envy, and slander. 2 Instead, like a newborn baby, desire the pure milk of the word. Nourished by it, you will grow into salvation, 3 since you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 Now you are coming to him as to a living stone. Even though this stone was rejected by humans, from God’s perspective it is chosen, valuable. 5 You yourselves are being built like living stones into a spiritual temple. You are being made into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light. 10 Once you weren’t a people, but now you are God’s people. Once you hadn’t received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

DO YOU KNOW?
This week’s GPS focuses on the Bible reasons for Resurrection’s current “Generation to Generation” campaign. For more information about the campaign, click here.

The very first Christian community in Jerusalem, perhaps surprisingly, continued to use the Temple as a space for worship, prayer and fellowship until persecution made that unworkable. Despite the tragedy of Jesus’ rejection and crucifixion, they still found it a good place to meet with God and one another. God worked through that building (and through homes, and then specifically Christian church buildings as the church grew and spread) as tools to transform human lives. The buildings were never an end in themselves. They were always tools God could use to shape God’s people into the kind of spiritual temple the apostle Peter had described.

  • In what ways do you identify with the idea that you have been “called out of darkness” into God’s amazing light? What type(s) of darkness has God had to dispel in your life? What steps do you take to keep Christ as the cornerstone on which you build your life? As one of God’s people (“a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession”—wow!), how will you live so that others may know God’s love and mercy? What can you do to help provide spaces in which future generations can also come to know the God who is transforming your life in powerfully positive ways?
Prayer

Dear God, mold and shape me into a faithful follower, a person who has received mercy, grace and forgiveness. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of my faith. Amen.

GPS Insights

Dan Entwistle

Dan Entwistle

Dan Entwistle serves as a Managing Executive Director for Church of the Resurrection.

If a friend asks, “What was your childhood home like?” how would you answer? Would you describe the house’s décor and architecture? Or maybe your answer would focus on how you were parented, your relationship with siblings and the memories you shared. Whether you lived on one place throughout your childhood or moved from place to place, our homelife represents something important about who we have become and what has shaped us.

When I was in high school, I read a small booklet entitled “My Heart–Christ’s Home,” by Robert B. Mungor. The story, originally published in 1954, reads like an allegory and begins with the author welcoming God into his heart, symbolized as his physical home. Room by room, the author invites Jesus into each of the inner parts of his life—represented as his living room, kitchen, bedroom, recreation room and even those uncomfortable closets where he has hidden parts of himself that he’d rather God not see.

As they enter each room, the author is changed by the experience of Jesus’ presence in that aspect of his life. Then he comes to realize that something more is needed. So, he asks God to take over complete management of his household. He resolves to transfer the deed (symbolically, every aspect of his life) from his own control to God’s. Jesus is now no longer a guest in his heart; he has become the owner and master.

Like most allegories, the story line can stretch only so far. Yet decades after reading the booklet, I’m reminded of the simple message that we are called to be living temples for God, homes where God’s reign becomes our inward reality and our daily practice.

In today’s GPS reading, the apostle Peter says it like this, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light. Once you weren’t a people, but now you are God’s people. Once you hadn’t received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

May we live as God’s own possession as we receive mercy, speak of the wonderful things God has done, and seek to live so that others are invited into God’s amazing light.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References