"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;" (1 Peter 2:9).
Peter has always been one of my favorite Bible Characters. In the early church I have always had a companionship for Peter over Paul. Peter is a saint one minute and a total dufas the next. He calls out Jesus as savior and then turns around and tries to tell Jesus how to accomplish his salvation plan. He is a friend to Gentiles and then Paul is on his case because he won’t sit down and eat with them for fear of the Jewish Church. Peter doesn’t always do everything the right way in the moment, but he is in process of becoming who God wants him to become. The disciple with foot in mouth disease becomes the leader of the church in Acts, what an altar call.
His letters written towards the end of his ministry and life are filled with understanding and shepherding. I think after a life of up’s and downs he finally hit his stride writing to Roman Christians who were about to undergo a tremendous amount of suffering for their testimony. His passion at his cross proclaimed he wasn’t worthy to die the same way Jesus died. A far cry from the proud Peter of the Lord’s Supper. His growth stands as an example to all of us who are “called”.
I had the pleasure of seeing what the Catholic church proclaims is his burial site a couple of years ago. It wasn’t a goal of mine, but I did stop for a moment and reflect on this great witness. Amongst the gold and marble lies a humbled shepherd of the called-out ones.
In a day like ours where there is so much darkness it is good for us to remember that we are called out of that darkness to walk in light. Not for our own pride but to be servants of the light. We are not worthy of the name of Christ or even to call him Lord. However, Jesus love for us is just like his love for Peter. Jesus saw Peter for the possibilities of what he could become. He molded Peter the rock from the rough stone. He told Peter what a great leader he could become even after his 3-time betrayal. Jesus called him back to himself and more importantly for us he called him back to the church.
One of the names for the church if of Greek origin, the language of the New Testament world. “The called-out ones” pulled from a world of darkness into service for the source of light itself. This month we will be looking at the names of the Church in scripture and reflecting on the words of leaders called out over 2,000 years ago who still give us the call out of and back to a world in darkness. Jesus still has his chisel and hammer working to remove the rough stone he can create in each of us a Masterpiece like Peter. Let’s take this month to see what God wants each of us to become for his glory.