May 10th Service
On Line Service due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Saint John's Pulpit (Fifth Sunday of Easter))) – "Things to Form Christian Home" 1 Peter 2:2-10

Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: "See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner," and "A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:2-10 NRSV

Things to form Christian Home

Happy Mother's Day! Some of you might planned this special day a year ago or from a beginning of this year. Booking hotels, cruise, or an international travel… or going to a fancy restaurant and ordering flowers and cakes… However, all our plans need to be changed or canceled due to the Covid-19. Some people are not allowed to see their parents because they are in a special facility requiring a strong quarantine. Or others are mourning now for the loss of their parents during this pandemic. In many ways, every single day is special, meaningful, and thankful. If this is true, Mother's Day 2020 is very special to all of us.

Let me tell about the month of May in my home country. The month of May is very special entertaining family. You can meet all special family holidays in this month. For example, May 5 is a day for Children. May 8 is a day of Parents (we have no Mother’s Day and Father’s Day). May 15 is a day of teachers (in East Asian Culture, teachers, parents, and kings are of the same entity). As it is the most beautiful month, there are many weddings, college festivals and family travels. However, this year 2020 challenges us to focus on a meaning of family or people we love instead of celebration, parties, and festivals.

Please read the text today carefully. Don’t you think that it has everything about family? You see some words to use at your home. What about these words in the text?

  • Like newborn infants, (v.2)
  • the pure, spiritual milk (v.2)
  • you may grow… (v.2)
  • a spiritual house (v.5)

Here is one important thing to know from the expression "like newborn infants." In 1 Corinthians 3:1-2, you may remember that the same expression (e.g. infants and milk) used by Apostle Paul:

And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.  2  I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 NRSV

In comparing believers to newborn infants, here and now Peter is not saying they are immature in their faith but that all Christians need to long for pure spiritual milk for their spiritual growth.

Here is a question. Why do you see many meaningful words about family in the text today? Because God wants us to build up a spiritual house in our home rooted in the words of God. 1 Peter 2:5 says,

like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 NRSV

In the Bible, the Risen Lord usually is referred as a living stone. For example,

therefore thus says the Lord GOD,
See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: "One who trusts will not panic." Isaiah 28:16 NRSV

The other usage is shown in Psalm 118:22.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. Psalm 118:22 NRSV

Your Home Foundation

Have you ever built a house by yourselves? I never did. But I am looking how a house is being built day by day. Next to the parsonage, several houses are being built now. It is a good lesson to see the importance of a living stone. Indeed, this is from Jesus’ sermon long time ago. 24  “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.  25  The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. Matthew 7:24-25 NRSV

To all mothers (fathers and parents), what messages does the text today present? Yes, it is to build up a Christian home. Regardless of ages and roles in our family, we all need the pure and spiritual milk. This will make us grow in faith day by day as we are pleased to see our children’s growth. Here is one condition. Who can do this? By parents? By children? No, Christian home built on a living stone means Christian family rooted in the words of God and love of Jesus Christ. So, pray to the Lord to become your home foundation. Due to the Covid-19, ‘Staying at Home’ seems to be tough and stressful sometimes. As all family are in the same place there may be conflicts, troubles, and grumbles. Mothers who are with little children are tired. Breakfast, snacks, lunch, snacks, dinner, and snacks… However, why don’t you make good use of this special time to close to God? Why don’t you strengthen your faith foundation in your home? Won’t you be able to have family devotion or read the Bible together? You will find that your family grow in Christ. Happy Mother’s Day!