1 Peter 2:9-10
9 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. 10 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, New International Version)
Stop to think for a moment: What places do you feel you belong? I mean, really belong? Where do you feel comfortable to be yourself, to speak openly, to be loved and accepted for who you are?
Belonging is a basic human need – like shelter and food. God created us to live in community with one another – “it is not good for the man to be alone.” God created us in God’s image, and God lives in community: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. So if we are made in God’s image, then we were not made to live alone. We were made to belong somewhere.
I hope that it was not a stretch for you to answer that first question about a place you belong. Your family, perhaps? Church? Workplace? A certain group of friends? But the sad fact is that some people don’t feel they belong anywhere. Whether they have alienated themselves, or whether others have done it for them, they feel as if they are alone – disconnected in a world of more than six billion people!
In the passage above, Peter points out the beautiful fact that all of us can belong to God’s family. Those who once felt separated and alienated, now find themselves drawn together as the people of God. This is something bigger than just a congregation – this is the whole people of God, whom God has brought together for a purpose and a mission. We share the language of God’s love, a culture of God’s kingdom, the values of holiness, justice and peace.
So for some people, this is very Good News indeed! Even when we feel there is nowhere else we belong, God offers us a place we will find love, acceptance and hope! This citizenship transcends our shortcomings, our disagreements with one another, and the mistakes we have made in the past.
Who needs to hear this Good News today? Maybe you need to hear it – to be reminded that you are a part of something bigger than yourself! That you are part of a family, and have a Father who sees all your failures… and loves you exactly for who you are.
Maybe you know someone who needs to hear it – a friend, family member, co-worker who needs a place to belong, to be loved and accepted. You can offer that to them right now.
Prayer Requests Today:
- Pray that God would reveal people around you who need to know a sense of belonging today – and for the courage to offer it to them.
- Pray for the Roma people of Europe, who don’t seem to belong – by their own doings and the hatred of others. Pray that they would find their belonging in God’s Kingdom.
- Pray that as the Roma find their belonging in God’s family, that God would melt the hearts of Slovak nationals toward their brothers and sisters in Christ.