“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. Once you were not a people of God, but now you are”- 1 Peter 2:9-10.
“I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth,” Whether I shall ever be better I can not tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.” With those words, the young senator from Illinois Abraham Lincoln was neck deep in depression. Why? Because of the state’s economic crisis from 1837-1840, Lincoln could not even support his own love interest Mary Owens in 1842. This decline destroyed the state’s credit rating, and land values dropped. Thousands of people lost their homes, and many banks and brokerage houses also closed. The depression was so bad for Lincoln, he decided against running for a 5th term in legislature in Illinois’s. He was Rejected!!! Depressed! He was bed ridden so much he wouldn’t eat It is this kind of rejection and feeling that comes to mind when I read our text!
Peter has already told the readers to be “spiritual stones” who, like Jesus, was ‘rejected by men” (1 Peter 2:4). A former fisherman, Peter himself had to have known a life of rejection given his professions daily risks of dealing with types of fish deemed ‘unclean’, and by extension, giving him a similar reputation (Cf Leviticus 11). Even so, Peter’s remedy for such rejection was not justice, it was purpose! “You are chosen!” he says with a sense of worship and authority. Which begs the question for today. How do you respond to being told no? To being fired? To be told you are wrong? Peters letter to the Gentile church reminds us that a no from the world does not have the final say! That even though we work, sweat, cry, and do anything necessary to get our way, we lose. But fear not! We may be told to Quarantine 100 days or 1 more, friends whom we counted on may flip, the world might change forever, Peters words are the same: “You are a people of God” because of Christ who is the foundation we lean on. Tell me no Lord! So I might remember who I am in you!