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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:1–10
Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. 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,”


     “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. (NRSV)

I am captivated by the imagery of a newborn infant in this wonderful passage. We can get so caught up in our intellect and reason, our work and “grown-up” things, that we miss what we sometimes call “the little things in life.” An infant’s laughter in the midst of utter dependence on others tells us that we forget to appreciate the fact that we’re even alive and that the sun has kissed our skin.

There are days when we busily rush from one activity or responsibility to the next, when we zombie our way through work, when we focus on wanting the next big thing. As people, we make ourselves the center of the universe. In all this, we miss moments of deep engagement with our world, God’s good creation. We miss the opportunity to welcome a stranger, a chance to help a neighbor. We miss the moments to forgive a grievance or to be forgiven, to share our love through words and act, or to be loved. We miss the moments to look into another’s eye and remind them that they are important, beyond what they have accomplished and what they post on Facebook and Twitter. 

This passage reminds us to seek to be like newborn infants, just after we’re told to rid ourselves of the very patterns and actions that betray relationship and hurt community.  As G.K. Chesterton wrote, “It may be that [God] has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” I pray we grow younger.

Forgive us, God, when we sin and neglect the gift of life and of community; help us to grow younger with the spiritual food you provide. Amen.

Written by Edwin Estevez, Pastoral Resident

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