Scripture: 1 Peter 2: 4 & 9 (NRSV)
Come to him, a living stone,? and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house?You are a royal priesthood?God's own people.
This was my ordination scripture. It was also that of another commuting Andover Newton classmate whom I did not meet until four years later. Not surprisingly, we are now great friends and spiritual companions. Her preacher spoke about living stones and mine about us Christians as being peculiar people. That was from the gospel according to King James. Even so, I liked her message. I like stones even more.
As a past (and present) pilgrim to the Isle of Iona, I have become somewhat obsessive-compulsive about finding the perfect specimen of Iona marble. In our living room there is a small bowl holding three such stones. Two came from near the now inoperative quarry. One is odd-shaped, angular and sharp. Another is similar, but the corners and edges have been smoothed by the elements. The third one I found on St. Columba's Beach at the southern end of the island. It is almost a perfect oval, smooth to the touch. It is easy to hold and to be with?.like a living human being whose sharp edges have been worn off.
Such stones will not fit together nicely to build an abbey or a cathedral, but they can be some of the stuff of a spiritual house. From where I sit, that's not all that peculiar.
May God grant us "stones" the grace to be smoothed by the stuff of life and to enjoy the peculiar nature of our calling in Christ. Amen.