1 Peter 2:2-10 (NRSV)
Verse 2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation Verse 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Verse 4Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and Verse 5like 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. Verse 6For 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." Verse 7To 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," Verse 8and "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. Verse 9But 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. Verse 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
No matter our age, today’s reading invites us to claim the identity newly born. It’s clearly about baptism. And about the promise that in baptism, like newborns who long for nourishing food, we have “tasted that the Lord is good.”
But another image soon takes over. These newborns are also tough. Like that “rock” to which yesterday’s psalm referred, but a special kind of rock—indeed “living stones” that imitate their Master, chosen to be the cornerstone, and now with him constantly being transformed and built into a living community.
This is what it means to be an Easter people. The new names come flying one after another. Try them on for size: “Chosen Race,” “Royal Priesthood,” “Holy Nation,” “God’s Own People.” And note how all of them call us not to isolation, but place us in community in order that we might live in the light.
We are an Easter people. We have been transformed—from “Not People” into “God’s People”—from “Mercy-less” into “Mercy-full.”
God of mercy, we give thanks that you have claimed us as your chosen people, and that in the promise of Easter you continue to use us as living stones being constantly built on the foundation of your Son into a living community of your mercy and love. Amen.