“As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:4-5 NIV)
Who are we? As we read these verses from 1 Peter, may we remember that we are not primarily librarians, and our main job—even at work—is not to provide research help, create tutorials, or select new resources. Our roles and responsibilities as Christian librarians are merely the manifestation of the deeper call on our lives. This deeper call is for all of us who “have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Pet. 2:3).
Peter’s first answer to the question of who we are is that we are “like living stones.” What does this mean for us as librarians? First, it means that we are to imitate Christ, who is the living Stone, the cornerstone of the spiritual house into which we are being built. Second, as God builds us into this spiritual house, He is making us into something new so that we can support each other, build one another up, and together be a dwelling place, created to make space for life. As librarians, then, we are called to offer each other support and encouragement, as I have found in abundance in ACL. Furthermore, we are to make the libraries we inhabit spaces of living and growing for those we serve.
A Holy Priesthood
The analogy that begins in v. 4 progresses, taking more surprising twists: not only are we living stones, built into a spiritual house, but the purpose of this building is “to be a holy priesthood.” This idea is far deeper than I can plumb, but the same primary takeaways are first, that we are to imitate Christ, and second, that this calling is not for us alone. If we are called to be a holy priesthood, it is under the leadership and by the example of our Great High Priest, Christ himself. While this in itself is enough of an honor to make me want to dance, let’s remember what a priest does. A priest does not exist for himself. He works to intercede to God on behalf of man and to represent God to man. How incredible is it that we’re called to such a work?
God has made us into living stones and a holy priesthood. But these good gifts are not for us alone. He calls us to join in his work, using the gifts he has given us to support one another, to make a space for people to experience life, to pray for and make sacrifices on behalf of others, and to show people who He is. How can you obey this call in your work today? How will you share his good gifts?
Grace is the Library Director at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Ridgeland, Mississippi. She has been an ACL member since 2017.