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. 10Once 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. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
Growing up in church, people would talk about the importance of having a “life verse.” A life verse is some passage from the Bible which seizes your imagination and spiritual life and, in some way, becomes a mission statement and guide verse on your road of discipleship.
When I was younger, I remember a season of a very dark night of the soul, a time in my life when I felt very much not-chosen, not-royal, and not-holy. Into that time, a wise friend shared with me this scripture, and it spoke into my heart in just the right way, bringing healing and a renewed sense of calling. It became my “life verse” for that season.
Peter is encouraging his readers to keep making progress along the discipleship journey – to leave behind malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander and crave the “pure, spiritual milk” given to babies to help them grow (1 Pet. 2:1-2). The author goes on to explain where this will lead:
As you come to Him, the living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him – 5you 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 2:4-5).
Throughout 1 Peter 2, Peter uses OT prophetic passages which were addressed to God’s chosen people as a whole (1 Peter 2:10 is a very direct echo of God’s words to His people in Hosea 2:23). Peter’s calling in this passage is a calling for all disciples. No matter who we are, when we follow Jesus, we are chosen and precious in His sight and we are called to proclaim His mighty acts.
Right now, right here, whether you are sheltered in place, working as an essential employee, trying to get unemployment payments, seeking discernment for next steps, or wherever you might be at this moment; it might not feel like the best place or time to proclaim God’s mighty acts. Remember this, though: in your daily life you are sustained by the God who calls you and chooses you and reminds you that you are precious in His sight. His mercy is everlasting, and His love is sure.
Take some time to reflect on where you have seen God’s mercy in the last few weeks. Where do you wish you could see His mercy? How do you think you are called to share His mercy with others at this moment? How can you share an encouraging word with someone around you who is in need of encouragement right now?