Week One: United in Prayers that Give Glory to Jesus|
|Feb 4||Feb 5||Feb 6||Feb 7||Feb 8||Feb 9|
Week Two: United in Prayers for the Saving of Souls|
|Feb 10||Feb 11||Feb 12||Feb 13||Feb 14||Feb 15||Feb 16|
Week Three: United in Prayers that We May Be One in Christ|
|Feb 17||Feb 18||Feb 19||Feb 20||Feb 21||Feb 22||Feb 23|
Week Four: United in Prayer to Increase our Joy|
|Feb 24||Feb 25||Feb 26||Feb 27||Feb 28||Feb 29||Mar 1|
Week Five: United in Prayers that Stand for Truth and Justice|
|Mar 2||Mar 3||Mar 4||Mar 5||Mar 6||Mar 7||Mar 8|
Week Six: United in Prayers that The Whole Christian Church May Be One|
|Mar 9||Mar 10||Mar 11||Mar 12||Mar 13||Mar 14||Mar 15|
Week Seven: United in Prayers of Complete Love for One Another|
|Mar 16||Mar 17||Mar 18||Mar 19||Mar 20||Mar 21||Mar 22|
February 19, 2008
"...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." 1 Peter 2:5
"Basic Training." It's funny how none of us ever thinks about what the military tells new recruits in two simple words. Even as they endure week after seemingly endless week of hardship, exhaustion, hunger, thirst, and often humiliation, the men and woman who volunteered to endure it rarely understand its purpose.
Even as they are transformed into tougher, more responsive, more obedient versions of their civilian selves, most still think that the end of basic training is the "finish line." After they've crossed it, if they've grasped the essence of "Basic," they become aware that the "finish line" is actually the "starting line" for the real training that is to come.
Basic Training strips you of self involvement and weaknesses and instills in you a loyalty to your service. It convinces you that your group can take on tasks no individual would dare on their own - tasks upon which your friends, family, and country depend.
In the same way, the spiritual house of God will be built, not by ourselves but of ourselves. Neither we nor our church leaders are the architects or the builders. We are His "living stones," the raw materials, which God himself constructs into a united spiritual house. Living stones, like real stones, are delivered in all sorts of irregular shapes. So we too are uniquely gifted and uniquely chosen for the position our Lord assigns. This house is being built for God...and by God.
The Builder may need to chip away here and polish there to make each work together in accordance to His plan. Our prayer this Lent should be that we all learn from our Basic Training. Let us toughen up and put aside our failings so that together we can serve God's purpose.
Dear Lord, use this time of Lent as my own "Basic Training" experience. Polish my rough edges. Purge from me from anything that is selfish. Toughen me for service. Thank you for including me as a living stone in the spiritual house You are building. Unite those near and far, known and unknown to me, who share this calling in Christ. Amen.