There are a bunch of paradoxes that are part of how the church talks about reality, but one of the biggest is about the end times. Side one of the paradox is that the end has already come. Side two of the paradox is that we are still here. With the resurrection of Jesus, the last day has happened. The age to come has arrived. But the current age still roles on. And we live in that tension.
As we saw the past week, living in a Divine tension is not comfortable. We’d like to resolve it. We want the old age to be done with, now. Hence the rapture warning, but also the much larger number of apocalypses and Armageddons predicted from a wide variety of folks religious and secular. Or, we’d like to just say – same as it ever was, world without end. Hence the lukewarmness, the despising of church and sacrament, the lack of holiness. We collapse the paradox, on our terms, on our time, in our way.
But Peter calls us living stones, placed on The Living Stone. Think for a second about that juxtaposition living…stones… Can you come up with a stranger notion? And we are living stones for God’s purposes. Those purposes are: growing up to salvation, to take our place in being built up into a spiritual house on the cornerstone (i.e. the church is important, its a corporate image), to proclaim Jesus who has called us out of darkness into his light.