once upon a time

But you are 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. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

                                                                        1 Peter 2:9-10

 

Once not a people, now a people.

 

Once in darkness, now in light—his marvelous light.

 

Once without mercy, now recipients of mercy.

 

We have come far. No, we have been brought far.

 

We are a people—and not just any people. A holy people. A royal and priestly people. A people belonging to God. A people with a voice and a message. A people with light and mercy and belonging.

 

Do we proclaim him? Do we live as this people—his people?

 

We should remember today where we’ve come from, what we once were. And what we once were not. Without salvation from Jesus we wouldn’t only be missing out on heaven when we die. There is so much more! Without Jesus we wouldn’t be a people, we wouldn’t know his mercy, we wouldn’t have his praises to proclaim. Without Jesus we would still be in darkness, still be alone, still be the once upon time people that weren’t even a people.

 

We should remember. Remember where we’ve come from. Who Jesus has made us into. Who he is still making us into.

 

Are we living as the royal priesthood? Are we embracing the family heritage we’ve been given, the mercy we’ve been lavished with? Are we telling and sharing and living out the message of mercy and life and belonging that is ours in Christ? Or have we forgotten? Are we in a stupor? Do we simply go through motions without meaning, say words without power, share the message of self and self interest forgetting the light we’re living in where once there was only darkness?

 

We are a people. His people here for his glory.

 

Once upon a time we were not a people and were living for our own self-interest in the slavish darkness of our own self-destruction. Some killing themselves swiftly and boldly. Others of us killing ourselves slowly and subtly. But still we all were not a people. We all were in darkness. We all were without mercy or hope or belonging.

 

That was us, but not anymore. We are now a people—his people. Let us revel in this mercy and live for his glory and proclaim these truths.

 

Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
and who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
and to the quarry from which you were hewn;

look to Abraham, your father,
and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
When I called him he was only one man,
and I blessed him and made him many.                       Isaiah 51:1-2

 

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