Chosen

9But you are a chosen race, and kingdom of priests, a holy nation, God’s possession, so that you may proclaim the redemptive deeds of the one who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.      1 Peter 2:9 (HN)

– Henry Neufeld

We all like the idea of being chosen. When we’re younger and we’re in school it felt good to be chosen early for the team. The fact that you were wanted made you feel warm inside. I was not chosen for the team all that often, but I was often chosen for study groups, or to help out. It doesn’t matter what you’re chosen for; it feels good!

Oddly enough, as Christians, we like the idea of being chosen, but we’re not always so concerned about what we’re chosen for. Being chosen generally has a reason. Even when one is chosen for an award, it’s usually so that one can be used as an example of some sort of good activity so that others will be encouraged to do the same thing.

But as Christians we often feel that we are chosen to just be somebody special. Now I’m not scoffing at the fact that God loves each person. You are, in fact, special. God loves you. But God loves you too much to let you sit around and feel special. God has a greater plan for you than that!

And here it is. God wanted a nation of priests.

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; 19:6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.’    Exodus 19:5-6 (WEB)

He wanted to be in contact with all his people so that they would, in turn, introduce him to the world. Here Peter is saying that God has at last chosen some people to do precisely that.

We get into all kinds of tangles over whether God “unchose” the Jewish people at this point. But that type of thinking reflects the idea that being chosen has to do with sitting around and being special. When 11 people are chosen for a baseball team, they will all end up playing. It’s not a matter of one superseding the other. Rather, it’s a matter of everyone having something to do. Some will even do the same thing, but at a different time and place.

So as Christians we can be chosen as a holy nation without eliminating someone else. In fact, this very passage was first addressed to Jewish believers, though I think it clearly applies to more.

But the most important thing is to notice the task to which we are called—proclamation. That’s where we get uncomfortable. We want to feel special, but we don’t want to have to talk about it. We don’t want to proclaim.

Now don’t imagine that “proclaiming” means that you have to be a preacher. Simply offering to pray for someone is carrying out this mission. Encouraging someone, telling them that Jesus loves them, and being Jesus for them by helping them—all these things proclaim the message.

Feel special today—feel that special mission—and proclaim Jesus, crucified, but living in your heart.

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