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. (1 Peter 2:9)
Who am I? A student? A worker? A member of a family? A leader in the church? Am I defined by what I have accomplished? Or am I defined by my mistakes? The world tells us what we should be. Advertisers tells us what we should like. It is common for middle school and high school students to try on different personas in asking, “Who am I?” We compare ourselves to others. What if we don’t measure up? What if we are rejected? No doubt about it, it’s easy to lose sight of who we are. When this happens, we also lose sight of our purpose and direction, which leads down a dark road of discouragement and despair.
In his first letter, Peter encourages the churches as they battle a corrupt culture. He begins by reminding them of their identity in Christ: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” (1 Peter 2:9a).
Chosen! A royal priesthood! A holy nation! Christ’s own possession! Peter speaks so emphatically and concretely precisely because it’s a struggle for us to believe that Christ has done all this, even for us! But He has died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God (3:18). He has given you an appeal for a good conscience before God in Holy Baptism, which now saves you (3:21). He has called you out of darkness, out of sin and death, into His marvelous light!
These powerful words give us a clear picture of who we are in Christ…alone! It doesn’t matter what we’ve done or what the world or our culture or other people say or think about believers in Christ.
We are His! Peter didn’t stop with reminding his readers (and us!) of their identity. He continued by giving them a clear purpose and direction: “that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” We are His chosen people and He wants us to share with others that Christ is our Savior. He has called us out of the darkness of sin and death by His suffering, death and resurrection, and into His marvelous light!
Reflect: When in the past have you struggled with who you are? How are you assured of your identity in Christ? What is one way you can remind someone of their identity in Christ? Who in your life needs to hear about how Jesus Christ calls them out of darkness into His marvelous light?
Lord, you know the times I question who I am. Help me, by the hearing of Your precious Gospel, be remembering my Baptism, to know that I am Yours. Remind me how You called me out of darkness through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Give me the words to say to those around me who question their identity and purpose. Help me to share Jesus’ love, mercy and grace with them. In Jesus Name, Amen!