But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)
Relate: I don’t think I have ever heard a sermon coming out of 1 Peter 2:9 that does not focus on how special the Christian is. God has chosen you. He has made you a royal priesthood and a holy nation. Ninety percent (if not all) of the sermons from this portion of scripture will focus on these three things and perhaps at the end they will tack on the end of that verse. I can almost hear someone shouting out the first part of this, coughing through “so you can show others” and working back into a crescendo for that wonderful light.
React: We’re special, yes, we’re special, but that is not nearly the focus of this verse. We are a chosen people. The King James uses “peculiar” and this is one of the few times where the KJV actually fits better. In old English “peculiar” would usually mean owned. Webster still lists a sub definition of the word as “belonging exclusively to”. We are God’s possession and no one or anything else has any claim on us.
We are also a royal priesthood. A priest is one who acts as a spiritual intermediary. (See Hebrews 5) As a royal priesthood, we have direct access to God, yes, but that access is for a purpose. We bring the needs of the people to Him and the words of Him to the people. All too often we the church are speaking and acting in a manner that creates a wall between the lost and the Redeemer when God has called to be a bridge.
We are a holy nation (a different community). Even as we act as a bridge and an intercessor for the world, we are also to be different from them. All too often the difference we display is in our words but not in our actions. We condemn the world for its evil even as we struggle in the same mire. We proclaim a difference but we only display judgment and hypocrisy. This is not the different God has called us to. We are a city on a hill. We are to be a standard of purity and excellence that the world would aspire to emulate. The fact we are usually quite rightly seen as something to be avoided rather than emulated says far more about the church than it does the world.
Yes, there is greatness, but that greatness is not for us. It is through us. The thrust of 1 Peter 2:9 is not about us as an end but rather a means. The focus of Peter’s declaration is that very part I all too often hear glossed over or barely mentioned. The crux of this verse is, “As a result, you can show others the goodness of God.” So… what am I showing them?
Over and over again I need to learn the lesson that it is not all about me. Forgive me for this. Please, help me to keep the focus on You and keep my efforts centered on how I can present You to my world. I don’t want to be the end point for all You have blessed me with. I want to be a conduit. Let the richness of Your grace spill out of me to drench everyone I come in contact with. Let me understand that I am royalty for a reason. Help me to shine.