Today’s text comes from the 2nd Chapter of the 1st Epistle of St. Peter.
1Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. 2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation — 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture:
“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner,”
“A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
We, friends are a royal priesthood. We are a chosen generation. But, just like the Prodigal we can deny that royal heritage and live with the swine. The choice is ours. When we choose to rid ourselves of all malice, all forms of slander, all envy, all guile and all insincerity, we choose to live into our royal heritage. When we choose to fill our lives with all those evil things, we choose to deny that royal heritage.
When we deny malice, slander, envy, guile and insincerity we accept Christ. When we accept those things, we deny Christ. When we deny those things we help create Heaven on earth and when we accept those things as part of our lives, we help create Hell on earth.
We are all Priests. We all have that general call. We live out that call in different ways but God has called you to be Priest (one who brings the Kingdom with you). I deny Christ every time I walk by someone and fail to show love to them. When I do that, I am the mortal that denies the Cornerstone that God put into place. But, on a rare occasion when I adequately show love to the poor, the homeless, the sick or the prisoner, I accept the Cornerstone that God put into place. When I do not, I am choosing to live with the pigs but when I do, I am living into the royal life God has called and ordained me into. I fail at this more than I do good, but I’m attempting to live into the royal life. This “royal life” that I am speaking of is not something that makes me better than another, but the royalty that Jesus spoke of wherein the least shall be made greatest and the greatest be made least. When I elevate everyone else’s needs and well-being above my own, I am living into that royalty. Yet, when I am snobby and look down on those that are less fortunate is when I’m living like a pig.
We are not perfect. We can never “gain our salvation”. We can never become more worthy of the love of God. But we have received the love and mercy of God. And when we hoard that love and mercy for ourselves, we look like pigs to God. Let us be the sons and daughters we are predestined to be. Let us be the imago dei on earth, the royal priesthood and the chosen generation.
I am working on living into those titles.
Let us finish this conversation in the comments, eh?
Love you guys. Thanks for reading and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you from now and unto the end of the age, amen.