Perceptions dominate our society. From social media, to the way we present ourselves at school, work, and social situations, we spend a good amount of time cultivating our personal images. We care about the way people perceive us. We care what people think about us. Whether we know it or not, whether we want to admit it or not, we want people to think of us in a certain way.
But what is our reality, versus perception? As followers of Christ, our reality is that through God’s great mercy, we have been given a new birth in the living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). Our reality is that we are called to be holy, just as he who called us is holy (1 Peter 1:15). Our reality is that we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the excellencies of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). If that is our reality, then what do we project? What do people perceive from our pattern of life? Are people’s perceptions of us, as followers of Christ, consistent with our reality as God’s chosen people, and our call to declare God’s excellencies?
This Sunday, as we dive into 1 Peter 1:13-2:12, we’ll be discovering that being holy is not just a checklist of moral behavior that we keep a track of. It’s not just doing the things that we think a Christian should be doing (or not doing). Being holy means being set apart for God. It means that as a people who are set apart for God, we live our lives in a way that is distinct from the patterns of the world, so that, when people see us, they see and perceive the reality of Jesus in the world.
“In the community of believers, that’s where God’s presence is supposed to be, and where heaven shows up on the planet…The community is Jesus to the world.” -James Choung.
See y’all Sunday!