February 3rd - We are
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone," and "A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:7-10 (NKJV)
What are you? Or, perhaps--who are you? Where do you find your identity? Do you even know who or what you are? I remember back in the day when I was a teenager; and like many of the other teenagers in my world, I was clueless, a disaster looking for a place to happen. I felt pulled in different directions. The bright lights of the world were beckoning me, like a moth to the flame; and my upbringing in the church was calling me to deny myself, pick up my cross and follow Jesus. Nothing like a duplicitous heart to "spin" you in no particular direction.
Then I met Jesus. I know, it sounds cliché, but I wanted to
know more about Jesus if I was going to actually follow Him. I was already familiar with the church and indoctrinated by my religious upbringing--but, I wanted to know more about the author and finisher of my faith. I seriously studied the red letters in my Bible and I found Jesus to be amazing. (Please note that the word "amazing" doesn't even come close to describing how amazing Jesus is)
Jesus was a God-driven revolutionary. He was loving and holy; and simultaneously, He was filled with righteous anger and zeal. He was a non-religious Rabbi who was the inspiration and author of the largest religion on planet earth. Ultimately, He was rejected by His own people and yet, God has made Him the chief cornerstone.
What is Jesus the chief cornerstone of? "Us," the Church! He is the chief cornerstone that holds up the rest of the building. It is His building--and as living stones--we find our identity in Him. Now, rather than stumbling around in the darkness wondering about who we are--we know who we are!
In Christ, we are: A Chosen Generation, A Royal Priesthood, A Holy Nation, A Special People! We may come from different nations; speak different languages; come in all kinds of shapes and colors; be from different generations; have different goals and dreams... But, there is a rallying point that makes us one people: His name is Jesus!
Author's Note: I love people...all kinds of different, unique people; but I have found that the people who belong to Christ, also belong to me. They are my people and I am one of them. Jesus binds us together and we have a common identity. We are the Church. We are a family. We are together. Jesus is our identity. That is who we are. RJD