As Living Stones We Are Built into the House and the Altar of God
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Origen was born in Alexandria around 185. His father, a Biblical scholar and teacher, was executed by the state when Origen was still a youth for refusing to renounce Christ, and the family's entire property was confiscated. He continued his Biblical studies and Greek philosophy in Alexandria and later opened his own school in Caesarea. A prolific writer, Origen wrote numerous Scripture commentaries and nearly 2000 treatises on theology and prayer. In 250 he was imprisoned and tortured for his faith during a persecution in 250 and died four years later from his injuries.
All of us who believe in Christ Jesus are said to be living stones, according to the words of Scripture: But you are living stones, built as a spiritual house in a holy priesthood, that you may offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
When we look at an earthly building, we can see that the larger and stronger stones are the first to be set in place as the foundation, so that the weight of the whole structure may rest on them securely. In the same way understand that some of the living stones become the foundation of the spiritual building. What are these living stones placed in the foundation? They are the apostles and prophets. That is what Paul says when he teaches: We have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with our Lord Jesus Christ himself as the cornerstone.
You, my hearers, must learn that Christ himself is also the foundation of the building we are now describing, so that you may prepare yourselves more eagerly for the construction of this building and become stones that lie closer to the foundation. As the apostle Paul says: No foundation can be laid other than the one that has been laid already: I mean Christ Jesus. Blessed are those, therefore, who build a religious and holy structure upon such a noble foundation.
In this building of the Church, there must also be an altar. I think that if those of you, disposed and eager for prayer, offer petitions and prayers of supplication to God day and night, you will become the living stones for the altar which Jesus is building.
Consider what praise is ascribed to these stones which make up the altar. All of us who believe in Christ Jesus are said to be living stones, according to the words of Scripture: But you are living stones, built as a spiritual house in a holy priesthood, that you may offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Therefore, these who were able to pray with one mind, one voice and one spirit, are perhaps worthy to form together one altar, where Jesus may offer his sacrifice to the Father.
Let us strive to agree among ourselves and to have one mind and voice. May we never quarrel or act from vainglory. But may we remain united in belief and purpose. Then even we may hope to become stones fit for the altar.
What are those stones? Perhaps those uncut and undefiled stones are the holy apostles, all making a single altar, because of their unity of mind and heart. For it was known that with one accord they all opened their lips to pray: You, Lord, know the hearts of all.
1 Peter 2:1-10
1 Corinthians 3:9-17
God our Father,
from living stones, your chosen people,
you built an eternal temple to your glory.
Increase the spiritual gifts you have given to your Church
that your faithful people may continue to grow
into the new and eternal Jerusalem.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
Caminemos Juntos is a Latino Anglican church planting movement and is part of the Gafcon Global Mission Partnership Network. In July this year a Latino team partnered with an African American church in a very tough district of Chicago to run an evangelistic soccer camp. At the end of the week 25 kids received Christ into their hearts, the church has started a children's group and a Latino service. Praise God for this initiative, for the lives changed, and for new ministries started.
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