January 13, 2022
1 Peter 2.9-10
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Names have meanings. We use them most often as identifiers alone. Differentiating one person from another. But the names we have almost always have meanings. Hosea in the Old Testament gave names to his children, but they were not so nice. Lo-Ruhammah – you are not loved. Lo-Ammi – you are not my people. Names to show the brokenness of the relationship between people and God. Yet at the end it is all reversed because God shows mercy. Peter uses that here. You are the people of God and you have received mercy.
These two statements describe who we are so well. Because we know that our relationship with God has also been broken. Yet because God has had mercy on us we are his people. Or as John summarizes the interactions between Jesus and Nicodemus:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Know that we are loved by God and restored by him to be his people. We live as the people of God, because he has called us to be his people. We live as people of God, because he has restored us in his mercy. This is who we are.
Song – Jesus Loves Me
God of grace and glory, you call us with your voice of flame to be your people, faithful and courageous. As your beloved Son embraced his mission in the waters of baptism, inspire us with the fire of your Spirit to join in his transforming work. We ask this in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.