Deric showed a video from Ray Vander Laan's series "The Dust of the Rabbi" to the youth yesterday morning. (If you haven't heard any of Ray's teachings, you should check him out. He explains the Jewish cultural references behind a lot of Scripture, which helps me make sense of the Bible.) This particular video was entitled "Living Stones" and Ray taught about how the body of believers is the living temple of God.
When Ray teaches in the videos, he's always in the actual location he's teaching about. So for this video, he was standing in the ruins of a temple to Athena in modern day Turkey. He explained that in the quarry, stones were cut for the exact place they would be put in the temple. They were usually labeled in the quarry so that once on site, builders could put each stone in its specific place. In the same way, God has a specific role within the Christian body He designates for each believer. Over the course of a Christian's life, God molds us into the shape He designed for us. Together with other believers, we are God's living temple. When people come into contact with us, they come into contact with the Spirit of the Living God. When we love each other, we declare to the world how great and loving our God is, just as the extravagant temples declared how big their god was. But when we can't show each other love, the power of God's message is lost and the presence of His Spirit is hidden. Communities that live out the love of God change worlds.