Summary: Does your life reflect what God has done for you? Do you sacrifice for God in your life promoting purpose, holiness, worship, praise, and mercy? Are you honestly carving your life on the inside and the outside to look like Jesus Christ?
LEGACY IN STONES
STONE CARVER PARABLE 1
Once upon a time there was a master stone carver who had a large seven foot square piece of stone outside of his shop. It was a perfect square block of marble that the stone carver always said would be his master work. He always said that when it was finished, it would represent him totally. Most days he was busy in town helping build some building or repairing another. He worked on a little each day and mostly found time in the evenings as the sun was going down to work on his personal project.
He began his project many years ago at the top. He began by etching into the marble scenes from his childhood. He wanted to preserve the memories of his life. He carved a scene on one side at the top of the bad winter when his sister died of starvation and his mother could not stop crying. He would always remember that winter even though he was very young. He carved on another side at the top the time he got a new dog named Prince. He loved that dog. He grew up with that dog. There was not a memory from his childhood which did not have that scraggly old dog. Prince was gone now… buried out back. So the top of his carving was filled over the years with memories and representations of his life.
Over the years he had moved down the large block and had begun to carve and etch scenes of causes and people he believed in. He volunteered weekly at the local orphanage which stood out prominently on one side. He also carved into the side the tools of his stone trade which he loved dearly.
In this current year, he had moved down further and decided to carve into his masterpiece some wishes he would have for the future. He was currently dreaming about how to add such dreams to his master work. Again, he worked on it as he had time.
I. STONES OF MEMORY
The passage from 1 Peter 2 we will look at today is one that has stones at the center. It is a passage that calls us living stones and means to share with us important truths about our identities as believers. The first way I believe the Apostle Peter means for us to identify ourselves is as stones of memory.
To understand what “stones of memory” are, we have to look back at the Old Testament as this is an Old Testament reference. Stones were often set up as a way of keeping the memory of something alive or making a lasting agreement between people.
For example, Genesis 31 has an agreement struck between Laban and Jacob about flocks and herds and even the marriage of daughters:
“Come now, let's make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us." 45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 He said to his relatives, "Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed” (Genesis 31:44-47).
For example, in Deuteronomy 27 the people were to set up a monument in the Promised Land to remind them of all the laws God had set before them:
“Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: "Keep all these commands that I give you today. 2 When you have crossed the Jordan into the land the LORD your God is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster. 3 Write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over to enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you” (Deuteronomy 27:1-3).
For example, in Joshua 4 the people of God miraculously crossed the Jordan River on dry ground and it marked their crossing into the Promised Land:
“So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:4-7).