As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood. 1 Peter 2:4-5 (NIV)
Peter is writing to people who have experienced new birth and are pursuing new life in a community of believers worshipping together. So what does God do when we come to Him together in worship?
God’s presence is known
In the Old Testament, there was one place God had promised to put His presence and His name: the temple in Jerusalem. But when that temple was destroyed, where would God’s presence be known?
God’s presence was previously known among the stones of the temple. Now, His people are “living stones… being built into a spiritual house.” God’s presence is known wherever a community of believers gathers to worship Jesus.
God’s promise is fulfilled
The normal assumption in our culture is that anyone can approach God in any way they choose, any time they want to. But this idea is foreign to the Old Testament. Worship was a spectator event where the priests had all the action. The role of the people was simply to watch.
Through the power of Christ, however, God’s people have access to the presence of God. We can come and worship, doing what the priests could only illustrate. In Christ, God turns observers into participants.
God’s praise is declared
In a world that has trashed Jesus, it is the purpose of God that in every locality there should be a visible community of believers who are born again by the power of the Spirit; pursuing a new life of holiness; and gathering for worship, ministry, and service. And where that happens, God’s presence will be known, His promise will be fulfilled, and His praise will be declared.
How aware are you of God doing these things as you gather, Sunday by Sunday, for worship?