With Thanksgiving officially come-and-gone, the “holiday season” has begun! (Okay, if you’re in retail it began some time in October…maybe even September!)
So it got me thinking about why this season so often involves spending time with family (for better or worse!) Maybe it’s because family is our first experience of being “a people.” Today’s passage was meant to be read by a number of different people-groups who had no earthly reason to see themselves as unified. But because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, God reaches out to lost and disparate peoples, transforming them “from lost to one.”
It today’s passage, Peter proclaims that God is building a whole new kind of people, characterized not by merit or birth, but by mercy and re-birth. And God is creating this people to embody a “spiritual home” (v.5) for the world, to declare all that is praiseworthy (v.9) about God.
- Who are “your people?” Family? Friends? Countrymen? How do you draw those lines?
- How does the gospel of Jesus blur the lines of peoplehood, as we typically understand it?
- If God is building you into a “spiritual home,” (v.5) how at-home do you think people feel when they’re with you?
- If our purpose is to declare God’s excellence (v.9), how could we do that day-to-day that would bless people? In words? In deeds?
- Finally, how can our “good words and deeds” be clearly understood by others as motivated by the fact that “once we had not received mercy, but now we have received mercy?” (v.10)