“You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 2:4

This study explores the power of hope at work in us and through us. Peter has already taught us much about hope. We have the living, resurrected, tested and true hope of Christ running through our veins. In this study, Peter puts “hope” to work.  In construction language, he makes us “subcontractors” of hope as both Jesus’ crew and materials. In priestly language, he deploys us to speak a holy sermon of hope. And in the language of offerings, he calls us to be stewards who worship, offering our spiritual sacrifices of hope.


Checking In

  1. What specific needs, possessions, activities or events—past or future—are you missing because of the Coronavirus?
  2. What accommodations have you and/or others made to address one loss you are feeling or anticipating?
  3. How have you seen the grace of God at work in anticipated losses?



Preparing for the Word

We just opened with a brief opportunity to share some of the feelings, losses, and surprises of grace that are personal to each of us in this pandemic. There’s a difference, however, between something lost involuntarily and sacrificing something valuable intentionally. Today Peter draws our attention to the later: offering sacrifices of hope. As you read from Peter and discuss the questions that follow, consider how the Bible and the power of the resurrection of Jesus emboldens sacrifices of hope. And one more thing: every mention of “you” in these Bible verses is plural! This stretches our thinking even more about “offering” language. Ultimately, this is an activity we do together as God’s people!


First Word: 1 Peter 2:1-12

  • How have you “tasted that the Lord is good” and how has it impacted your growth as a child of God? (see verses 1-3)
  • Peter uses “Temple Talk” to describe our relationship with Christ and with each other (see verses 3-9).
    • Identify the various visuals of worship and temple life that Peter describes.
    • How does Peter in numerous ways describe Jesus as the fulfillment of temple structures, priests and sacrifices?
    • How has the death and resurrection of Jesus included us as a living fulfillment of temple structures, priests and sacrifices?


St. Paul’s Lutheran (Des Peres) H.I.S. Puppeteers have produced a video puppet show to compliment this study. Youth and adults will enjoy watching it.  Click here to watch the puppet show.

  • Why was the boy having a difficult time? How did the girl help him?
  • What does it mean for Jesus to be our “capstone”?
  • What does it mean for us to be “living stones” with Jesus?


Household Activity


Last week’s activity explored blessing our institutions. Click here to review last week's activity.

a) What group or person did you choose to bless?

b) How did the experience help you see God’s servants with the mindset of Christ Jesus?

c) How is submission to God’s authorities impacting your witness to the hope you have in the Gospel?


Offering Spiritual Sacrifices:

Peter uses the language of giving offerings to show how we put our living hope into action. Our offerings express many truths of Biblical stewardship and sacrificial giving. Discuss with others in your household (or friends you reach out to in your Christian community) at least two of the seven joys listed below of offering spiritual sacrifices. How have they impacted your faith and life personally?

  • Worshipping together in praise and thanksgiving to our Triune God
  • Serving as “a holy priesthood” together as the Body of Christ
  • Expressing sacrifice voluntarily, rather than compulsory
  • Celebrating belonging to each other in the Church
  • Expressing the creative activity of working together as Christ’s Church
  • Blessing our community as witnesses to the Gospel
  • Multiplying the Kingdom of God as servants in the mission of Christ


Offerings as Sacrifice:

Identify one activity of discretionary expense that you will sacrifice as an offering to God. Discuss with your household or group the following?

  • How can this be an activity that we can encourage one another to do together?
  • What cause (a general offering or a specific mission gift) will we participate in together as a group?
  • How can we collect the “offering” in a way that will remind us of our working together as living stones and in the Church?
  • When will we offer the gift?


Prayer Journal

This week’s prayer journal emboldens us to be a holy priesthood. The priesthood of the Old Testament did not merely offer sacrifices and forgive sins. The priesthood offered prayers of intercession for the people of God and for the world.

Before you pray, complete the following exercise to flex your muscles as intercessory priests. The prayer questions below are shaped in a way that ask us to intercede for people beginning from a distance and gradually moving to those closer to home. With the pandemic in front of us 24/7, try to look at each area of concern with more specific needs than simply requesting prayers for “the virus” or “the crisis.” If you need to, search for news stories to get specific. Write down your sacrificial prayer commitment and offer these prayers daily for one week.


a) What issue for the Christian Church on earth will you be a priest for every day this week?

b) What global issue will you be a priest for every day this week?

c) What national issue will you be a priest for every day this week?

d) What issue for the Lutheran Church in our District or Synod will you be a priest for every day this week?

e) What community issue will you be a priest for every day this week?

f) What issue in your congregation will you be a priest for every day this week?


Second Word: 1 Peter 3:1-12

This final word from Peter in our study is sacrificial as well. Peter challenges us to think about our roles as men and women, in marriage and in families, in the church and in society, with a view that challenges the entitlements and vanities of our culture. As you read this section, read with your call to sacrifice in mind (rather than someone else). Whether you are married or single, male or female, these words challenge us to put our hope in Jesus rather than our entitlement.

How does my offering of hope in Christ impact...

a) my modesty and appearance?

b) my consideration and respect for others?

c) my witness to the world?


How can I bless my marriage (or someone else’s) with hope by offering a spiritual sacrifice?




If you haven’t done so already, make use of the Daily Reading and Reflections provided with this to help you listen to the Bible more. It will help you grow deeper in your hope, a hope freed to serve.

Close by taking turns using 1 Peter 2:9 to bless one another. An example of how you can modify it to be a blessing might go like this:

{Name} Jesus is your hope!

You are united to me and His Church as

a chosen race, a royal priesthood,

a holy nation, a people for His own possession,

that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him

who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light!