1 Peter 2:2-10, New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
2Like newborn babies, you should long for the pure milk of God’s word. It will help you grow up as believers. 3 You can do this now that you have tasted how good the Lord is.
The Living Stone and a Chosen People
4Christ is the living Stone. People did not accept him, but God chose him. God places the highest value on him. 5 You also are like living stones. As you come to Christ, you are being built into a house for worship. There you will be holy priests. You will offer spiritual sacrifices. God will accept them because of what Jesus Christ has done. 6 In Scripture it says,
“Look! I am placing a stone in Zion.
It is a chosen and very valuable stone.
It is the most important stone in the building.
The one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.” (Isaiah 28:16)
7 This stone is very valuable to you who believe. But to people who do not believe,
“The stone the builders did not accept
has become the most important stone of all.” (Psalm 118:22)
“It is a stone that causes people to trip.
It is a rock that makes them fall.” (Isaiah 8:14)
They trip and fall because they do not obey the message. That is also what God planned for them.
9 But God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are God’s special treasure. You are all these things so that you can give him praise. God brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people. But now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy. But now you have received mercy.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Small battery-operated tea light in a brown paper sack.
What happens if you try really hard at something? Would one of you like to share a time when you worked really hard at something? (Allow children to respond.) Maybe our room is very messy, and we work hard at making it clean. Maybe you used to be afraid of going off the diving board into the deep water at the swimming pool, but now you can swim in deep water with confidence.
Listen to what 1 Peter 2: 9-10 says about a chosen people. That’s us.
But God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are God’s special treasure. You are all these things so that you can give him praise. God brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people. But now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy. But now you have received mercy.
This Bible passage is about an enormous difference that isn’t due to anything that we did. It is what God did for us! We didn’t become the people of God by trying hard. God chose people, all people, as God’s people. God chose us. We didn’t become holy because of something we did right. We became holy because God forgives us and chose us as special treasures. It is our responsibility, then, to live a life that honors what God did for us. It is a “God thing” that we are chosen!
I wonder what I have in the bag this week to remind us of this scripture passage. (Pull out the tea light and turn it on.) God brought us out of the darkness into light by forgiving us. Because of what God has done for you, not something you did, you are now the people of God. This light reminds us that we are not in the darkness, but full of the light of God’s love.
Once we were nobodies. But now we are royal priests, people who belong to God. God did this. I wonder if there is anything else for us to do. Of course! We can tell others about the wonderful things God has done and will continue to do!
From nobody to somebody. Out of the darkness and into the light. Removed from the bad into the good. We belong to God. Give God the glory.
God of grace, we love to tell of all the wonderful things you have done in our lives. You are full of kindness. Thank you for choosing us to be your people. Amen.