Called into the Comunity of Faith

4 Oct

 

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Embraced by God, Part 5 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Once you were “no people” but now you are God’s people: you “had not received mercy” but now you have received mercy.

1 Pt 2:9-1

IT WAS JUST IDLE CURIOSITY, and a desire for a bit of intelligent entertainment, that led Peg and me to a National Geographic TV program about ants. I’ve always been fascinated by these little creatures. I recall many years ago sitting with our youngest child just watching ants work, moving objects far larger and heavier than themselves.

As I watched this program, particularly the segment on leaf-cutting ants, I saw clearly how the ant colony depends on the dedicated work of each individual.

Some ants go up into the weeds, bushes and trees and cut off large segments of leaves. They drop these leaves to their counterparts on the ground. These ants cut the large portions into smaller segments for still other ants to carry back to their home base.

Part of the marvel of it all is that these smaller segments weigh more and are much larger than ants carrying them.

Going and coming, they follow scent trails left by scouts looking for plants to supply leaves. They also scout for food.

Their instinct for work is so strong that if caught in a grass fire, they continue working until they are burned to death.

And when the community must move from one location to another, they carry the eggs and the yet-unformed young along with them, with as many as four ants pulling along an offspring who, encased in its “womb,” is much larger than those helping him.

That’s how God made us—individuals, dependent on one another for personal survival and the survival of the human race.

God created each of us and loves all of us.

But, God wanted a people of his own, a people to whom and through whom he could communicate his love and wisdom to all humankind.

From the Old Testament, God calls Abram, a seventy-five-year-old pagan, whom he will rename Abraham, to leave his own homelands, to strike out into the unknown.

The Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you” (Gn 12:1).

And thus began, in the Hebrews, his chosen people, the great odyssey of God’s plan for salvation. It remained rooted in the hearts of the Hebrew people—in faithful and in unfaithful times.

Among those who came after Abraham was Moses, who led God’s people away from slavery in Egypt.

A great nation—a people: This is God’s vision and his promise.

“I am the Lord. I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery. I will rescue you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment I will take you as my own people and you shall have me as your God.”

Ex 6:6-7a

Then there was David who became a mighty king and warrior, also an adulterer and murderer, but one chosen and forgiven by God. David gave his people victory. He also gave us psalms to instruct us and to help us praise God.

Solomon, David’s son, built a magnificent temple for God. His wisdom is noted to this very day.

God kept his covenant to be faithful to his people even when they fell away from him and took on the attitudes and practices of pagans. His promise of a Messiah rang down through the centuries.

Next: The Messiah Comes

 

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