December 21, 2020
1 Peter 2:9-10
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.
Years ago, a pastor friend challenged me to recall how I came to Christ. As I thought about it, he offered the following thought: “It’s likely that it wasn’t some miraculous ray-of-light-from-heaven circumstances, but a person that led you to faith through their own obedience to the Holy Spirit.”
He was right. My faith journey began when I was a young boy, but it was through a handful of faithful people that I truly opened my heart to Jesus as a young man. And indeed it was the kind faces of these friends, family, and some amazing youth leaders that came to mind as I retraced my path to Jesus.
I’m not sure if it was the pastor friend or myself, but this thought raised the question: Where would I be if these friends had disregarded the Spirit’s prompt to witness to me?
Maybe God would have beamed me up via a heavenly light, I don’t know, but I am left with tremendous gratitude for the folks who loved me enough to speak God’s truth into my life. I doubt they would have considered themselves royal priests, but at some point they had to make the conscious and brave decision to reflect the light of God’s mercy into my life, and in doing so they obediently declared the praises of him who called them.
Paul writes in Ephesians 5:13 that “everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” Not a source of the light, but a faithful reflection. As I come to realize more that my value, my luminance, doesn’t emanate from what I can achieve but from what Christ has already achieved for me, performance becomes less of an objective than simply being with and reflecting the heart of the one who chose me.
If you have felt the warmth of our Savior’s light, I ask you to consider with gratitude during this Advent season the beautiful, broken, frail, luminous people who loved you enough to be a light along your path to Jesus . . . out of darkness, into his wonderful light.
— Zack Stack