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By Marsha West

November 4, 2006

Recently my husband and I were in our family room reading our Bibles, all warm and cozy from the heat generated by our fireplace. As I read 1 Peter chapter 2, his �living stone� metaphor took on a whole new meaning for me. Here�s what Peter says,

�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, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 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.� Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.�

Christ is called the �living Stone,� the �precious cornerstone.� He is the foundation of the Church. To quote my pastor, Tom Sabens, �Jesus is the rock on which God�s spiritual house will be built square, solid and secure.�

�But to those who do not believe, �The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,� and, �A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.� They stumble because they disobey the message?which is also what they weere destined for.� --1 Peter 2:4-8

As I mulled over Peter�s metaphor my eyes fell on our recently installed river rock fireplace. (It not only keeps us warm, it�s absolutely striking!) My husband and I were nearby during all phases of construction. First Pete, the stonemason (not to be confused with the apostle) built a wooden form. After the gas stove was on the hearth, Pete smeared cement inside the form. The next phase was a slow painstaking process. To avoid creating a design he carefully chose where to place each rock. According to our expert, the mistake do-it-yourselfers make is placing rocks and colors in a way that creates a design, which spoils the look. Which is why Pete took his time placing each stone inside the form.

Peter�s wonderful metaphor portrays Christians as living stones. Like Pete, the earthy stonemason, the Great Stonemason carefully chooses each stone then places it in a spot that will compliment the stones around it. �You did not choose me, but I chose you?�(John 15:16).&nbbsp; If you�re a Christian consider yourself one of God�s rocks!

Pastor Tom put it something like this: Every time someone trusts Christ as his Lord and Savior, that person is quarried out of a life of sin and added to the spiritual house God is erecting.

Which brings me to Renaissance artist Michelangelo. According to historians he was very finicky about the marble he used to carve his statues. So he would search a rock quarry for the perfect piece of brittle white stone. Legend has it that someone came upon Michelangelo chipping away with his chisel at a huge shapeless rock and asked him what he was doing. The famous sculptor replied, �I�m releasing the angel imprisoned in this marble.�

Ever since the Fall of Man, human beings, like Michelangelo�s angel, have been imprisoned in a chunk of marble, with no way to escape. We're trapped in our sin nature and can't break free. The good news is that the Greatest of all sculptors, Almighty God, has set to work on the cold hard slab of humanity. A chip here, a chip there and, from time to time, He gouges out large chunks of stone! �For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus?� (Eph 2:10). Jesus has come to set the captives free!

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When I look at my fireplace I�m reminded of Peter�s heartening words, �You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house.� What Peter wants us to know is that God has chosen us to be a part of the spiritual house He�s building!

So the next time you feel worthless, useless, or you�re suffering from guilt, or whatever, remind yourself that you are one of God�s rocks!

�For you created by inmost being; you knit me together in my mother�s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made� --Psalm 139:13

� 2006 Marsha West - All Rights Reserved

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Marsha West is the Founder and Editor of the E-Mail Brigade News Report, an online news report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a freelance writer specializing in Christian worldview. She is a regular contributor to,,, plus her commentaries appear in and

Marsha is also designer and webmaster of a Christian apologetics website, On Solid Rock Resources. She is currently writing a series of children's books for homeschoolers. Marsha and her husband reside in historic Jacksonville Oregon.

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According to Gary Bauer, president of American Values, �Kuo was a political appointee, yet like Captain Renault in Casablanca, he was �shocked� to discover politics in the White House. I believe the president�s faith is real, but the fact is there are libertarians in the administration who don�t always see eye-to-eye with conservative leaders.