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, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9-10
Dear God, I guess it’s hard for an American to recognize that we are not your chosen people. We are not Jewish/Israelites. We are Gentiles. In biblical history, we would bear more resemblance with one of the nations that made a treaty with Israel than we would with Israel.
But this passage is one of the reasons Christians feel this way. You had/have mercy on us. Because of Jesus, we were not a people, but now we are the people of God. We have received your mercy. “Mercy.” What a great word! What a beautiful word and beautiful sentiment. You offer us mercy. You welcome us into your family. We can now consider ourselves your special possession. You called us out of darkness into your wonderful light, and we can declare our praises to you. It’s how we are able to read the Old Testament and find our identity in the Israelites more than the Philistines.
I went back and listened to Andy Stanley’s “Not In It To Win It” sermon again tonight. I think it’s the fourth time I’ve heard it. I wanted an inoculation before tomorrow’s election. I needed a booster shot of biblical, Godly wisdom and I think this sermon has it. One of the things he said is that it wasn’t the Democratic or Republican Parties that shaped Western civilization over the last several hundred years. It was Christianity. So we need to not find our identity in a political party that is motivated by winning and exercising power, but by simply loving others. He said that the church is at its worst and looks like the world when it is defending its own rights and at its best and most Christlike when it is defending the rights of others.
Father, as I sit here quietly in bed and prepare to go to sleep for the night, my prayer for tomorrow’s election is that you will allow it to be mercifully decisive. I pray that we will know one way or another who won the presidential race by night’s end. I pray for graciousness on the parts of the winners and the losers. I pray that you will somehow use all of this to bring us, bring me, to repentance. I don’t know what you are doing in the grand scheme of things, but I know that this world is older than I can imagine and history will continue to unfold in ways I cannot imagine. But you know it all–past, present, and future–and you are in control. That’s all I need to know.
In Jesus’s name I pray,