Renewal 2: Renewing the Church

This week, we'll be hearing a special presentation from Strategic Planning's Working Group #3 during our services. For background on what they'll be presenting, click here. 

The team will also be hosting a Q&A Session after the 11:15 a.m. Service in the Fellowship Hall.

For Meditation

For four weeks in January we’re looking at how the Gospel brings renewal. Last week, we looked at how the Gospel renews the individual person and this week, we’re looking at how the Gospel renews the church and the community of God’s people.

In this well-known passage, Peter uses vivid imagery to describe what the church is and what the church is called to be. The most striking image in this section is the idea of the people of God as a building, or a temple, made up of living stones. In the Old Testament, the Jews believed that though God was everywhere, he lived in a special way in the temple, the place where his glory dwelled. 

But now, Peter gives us a different vision. Since the temple is no longer necessary because of Jesus, the place where God now dwells is in his people. And in this way, God is no longer in a fixed location, but wherever his people live. 

We’ll use this passage to see how God wants to renew us as Third Church. We’ll not only share about this vision for us broadly, but also share concrete ways we hope to live out this vision in the way we structure our church, and the way we organize our community and facilitate leadership.

Come this week, and be ready to engage and learn about God’s vision for the church.

Our weekly worship guide can be downloaded here. 

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1 Peter 2:4-10

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
    a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
    will never be put to shame.”
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

“The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone,”
8 and,

“A stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.