We are told to come to the stone, be a stone and live inside those stones. Some might say that Peter or Petros (meaning Rock) was obsessed with stones. He told us that we had to come to the living stone. Come and let Him build you into the house he is trying to build. To be that stone like Him, that living stone, we must be part of the foundation, part of the structure.

Were we to be a stone sanctuary; a place to let worship take place in us! We are to make worship take place in us. When we look at these scriptures, we tend to look at them one sided and not from both sides. We are to be both the structure, the building, and the activity that takes place inside that structure. We are both the building and the worship that takes place inside the structure. Is your head spinning yet? What in the world is a living stone? I know what living water is water that moves, please tell me what a living stone is.

We are being built! Peter says, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood…” He then quotes Isaiah 28:16: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the ONE who trust in him will never be put to shame. WE are to let ourselves be built. We must remember that we are the building material for Christ.

Peter is not giving advice to stone masons, far from it. He is about building the church then and now in the 21st century. Peter is telling us that God in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit wants the living stones to be ones that live and move and grow in their faith. God wants stones that will help shore up not only their own walls but others. God wants stones that will grow and learn new doorways and pave new paths. God wants us to discover opportunities to be a trail marker or a respite giver. We cannot count how many ways a living stone can be used for God and the kingdom.

Christ has been and will be our mentor, but he has placed a mentor/many mentors in our path. Some of those mentors were called Mom, Dad or friend. They had a mentor that lived within them and lives within us, Christ, the one who dwells within us, guiding us and encouraging us every day.

Is it important that Christ be our Mentor? Could not other people fill that void just as well? Up to a point, perhaps. But there are areas of our lives in which no other friend is adequate.

A woman fought a long battle with cancer. Her brother, Dr. Earl Wolf, made the trip from Missouri to Pennsylvania to attend her funeral. While he was there, he spent some time leafing through his sister’s Bible. He found this handwritten poem tucked in its pages:

Often on the Rock I tremble,

Faint of heart and weak of knee;

But the steadfast Rock of Ages

Never trembles under me. – (Neil Strait, Be Encouraged.)

That woman’s life was built on that strong foundation. It is great to have a successful life, but what was more important is our relationship with Jesus Christ and a life built on that sure cornerstone. Our mentors knew that faith was more than believing that it was also a life of living and following our calling in Christ. I don’t know about you but I try each and every day to make my parents and those who have been my mentors proud of what Christ is doing in my life as I grow into being the living stone we are all called to be by God.

George Odell is pastor at Clinton First United Methodist Church.

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