A mother cradles her newborn, taking in its scent, and lovingly closes her eyes. She is searching her heart, straining inward to find the vision of everything this child will become when it grows up. A man sits proudly behind a desk at his new job, enjoying the moment. Right now, this moment, there are no responsibilities, no deadlines, no urgencies; just for today everything is potential. A farmer stands, sweaty and dusty, bathed in the golden light of a setting sun. He face is lined with age, yet is a picture of contentment. The crops are in the soil, the days work is complete, and in time God will bring the increase to his fields.
In today’s lesson from 1 Peter, everything points forward. For we are baptized in Christ, but our baptism is only the beginning. The house must still be built, the babe who needs milk must learn to taste the deeper truths of God. The congregation of redeemed sinners must grow into a royalty…a priesthood of believers. The church of God is a living thing, whose foundation is love and whose cornerstone is its faith in Jesus Christ. Like all living things, the healthy church is one that is growing and maturing. We are called to grow together in love.