Saturday, May 13, 2017
What We Have Become
1 Peter 2:10 Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.
Because of the work of Christ in this world we have been gathered together and united as a people of God. This beautiful patchwork of unity is found because of the great diversity in God’s family. We become one when we are gathered from all peoples and grow together as we become more like the Messiah as we commune with him. The transformation results in Christlikeness and the uniting of those together who are like Christ, becomes a powerful people. A people who are merciful for they have received much mercy. What we become are citizens of the new kingdom inaugurated in resurrection power by the Messiah.
As we continue in the season of Easter we reflect upon resurrection power. This power has the ability to create a new people, a people who find their identity in Christ.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to celebrate with the people of the Hugelstrasse Church of the Nazarene in Germany. The pastor is working in an ever-changing environment and the church will never look quite the same, but it is an amazing place. Frankfurt, Germany has become a crossroads of international migration. The result is a new multi-cultural diversity such has never been seen before. I was amazed at the event when there were so many people who had come from many different lands, but all united in the kingdom of God. The pastor told me that they have discovered a way in which to respond to identity. When asked, “Are you German?” the new citizens say, “no.” But if they are asked, “Are you a Frankfurter?” they say “yes.” There is something in the new identity of being a “Frankfurter” that is acceptable as it is synonymous with this new multicultural world.
If these new citizens are embracing their identity as a “Frankfurter” maybe it ought to say something about those who have become children of the kingdom of God. We are to fall in love with the new kingdom, being united from far and wide through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. Jesus died and rose again so that he could usher in a new kingdom and we could exchange our citizenship from the earthly to the already of Christ’s rule. We don’t have to wait until Jesus comes again, but we are to become active participants in the new kingdom in the here and now. We are to be a people who have become like Christ and by being like Christ we desire nothing more than to follow him in counter-cultural ways. No longer are we partisans for we are far too busy being engaged in kingdom activity and the more we spend time with Christ the more our kingdom activity will be transformed to become more like Christ.
Once we were simply a disconnected people, wandering and searching for a way forward. But now, we are united in Christ and we have been made new. We have a new citizenship and we have become Christians. We embrace our new identity as we continue to be transformed into the image of the one with whom we have fallen in love.
Lord, I’m so sorry for the times that I fall short of my citizenship. Please help me to serve you faithfully. Amen.