1 Peter 2:2-10 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
2Like newborn babies, you should long for the pure milk of God’s word. It will help you grow up as believers. You can do this now that you have tasted how good the Lord is.
The Living Stone and a Chosen People
4Christ is the living Stone. People did not accept him, but God chose him. God places the highest value on him. 5You also are like living stones. As you come to Christ, you are being built into a house for worship. There you will be holy priests. You will offer spiritual sacrifices. God will accept them because of what Jesus Christ has done. 6In Scripture it says,
“Look! I am placing a stone in Zion.
It is a chosen and very valuable stone.
It is the most important stone in the building.
The one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.” (Isaiah 28:16)
7This stone is very valuable to you who believe. But to people who do not believe,
“The stone the builders did not accept
has become the most important stone of all.” (Psalm 118:22)
“It is a stone that causes people to trip.
It is a rock that makes them fall.” (Isaiah 8:14)
They trip and fall because they do not obey the message. That is also what God planned for them.
9 But God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are God’s special treasure. You are all these things so that you can give him praise. God brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once 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.
- Smooth stones (one for each child)
- Permanent marker
- Mod Podge
Before the service, draw a heart on each stone and cover the stones with Mod Podge. Let these dry overnight to create a holy stone for each child to keep as a reminder of today’s message.*
Today I have a stone for each of you to keep after the service. What do you know about stones? They’re hard. They’re used for building things. Houses being built are made from a stone foundation. Then the house is built on top of that strong support of the stones. Have you ever seen a huge fireplace that has stones all the way up to the ceiling? When stones are put together, they can create some very strong structures.
(If your church has a cornerstone, you can teach the children about that “stone” and invite them to look at it after the service.)
Today’s scripture passage says that we, like the stones, are being built into this house for worship.
We are being built into a house for worship. How do we build ourselves into a house for worshiping God? It starts with a strong foundation. A strong foundation spiritually is to always know that God loves us, no matter what. That’s why there is a heart on your stone. God loves us when things are going great, but God also loves us when things become difficult and when we’re sad.
For us to be a strong house for worship, we must begin with God’s love. Then we grow stronger when we pray for one another, read our Bible, and care about others.
Have you ever heard the hymn “We Are the Church?” The words of the hymn are,
I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus. All around the world. Yes, we’re the church together. The church is not a building. The church is not a steeple. The church is not a resting place. The church is a people.
(Words © 1972 Hope Publishing Company, 380 S Main Pl, Carol Stream, IL 60188)
Keep this stone with the heart on it to remind you that you are the church. (Point to another child.) You are the church. (Continue to hand out the stones if you haven’t done so already and remind the children by name that they are the church.)
God of Love: Each time we look at this stone, remind each of us of Your love for all of us, as we are being built into a house for worship. In Jesus’ precious and strong name. Amen.