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.
1 Peter 2: 9-10
As little children, we learn that to be chosen for the winning team is something special. We are proud to wear the winning team’s jersey, participate in the winning team’s chants and attend the winning team’s events and celebrations. So naturally, even as adults, everyone wants to be on the winning team. It’s “cool” to be on the winning team and to receive all the attention, accolades, and trophies the world offers. Often, members of the winning team bristle with muscle and dexterity. In fact, their winning depends on it.
The truth is that being on the winning team comes at a cost. There are many sacrifices that one makes to achieve excellence. Being on the winning team comes with a whole set of responsibilities that the spectator does not have. Those accolades come at a price: sacrifices, hours of practice and travel, injuries, discipline, and whatever else one needs to do, to deliver optimum performance. Being chosen for the winning team can be an exhilarating experience, but also a lonely and isolating experience, and besides those shiny, coveted, earthly trophies can be stolen or lost or even worse, one may be asked to give them back.
Peter tells God’s elect that they are on heaven’s winning team (1 Peter 1:1). Peter reminds them that they are a royal priesthood (set apart for special purposes), a holy (think pure) nation, God’s special possession (cherished and loved). So far so good. He urges them to be strong in their faith as they encounter persecutions that they might shine God’s light into the dark world they’ve left behind. Heaven's winning team delivers not because of brawn or brain, but based on its relationship to God.
There’s a lot of darkness in the world today and God is calling believers everywhere out of this darkness onto his winning team. God reminds his elect, that they have been chosen, but being chosen comes with responsibilities. Beloved, you are on this winning team. You are part of the royal priesthood, you have been called to walk in holiness, you are God’s special possession (adored and loved). The world around you may be dark, but he has called you out of it into his light, that you may declare his praises. As part of heaven’s winning team, God gets the glory, you do not. You don’t get to parade the streets with your trophy in your hands. Your trophy is imperishable, secured through him who first loved you. You win through him, your ultimate Captain and your achievements are etched forever in God’s book of remembrance. Sometimes the path might be tough, sometimes lonely, but rejoice today and be glad, Jesus has secured the win, your prize is secure and there are no take backs!
Father, thank you for choosing me. Now give me the strength, discipline and wisdom I need to deliver for the team. Thank you that my win is secure through you. I give you all the glory. Amen.