God & Country
Take a moment to read through 1 Peter 2:9-17
“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge in your ego at the expense of your soul.” 1 Peter 2:11 (The Message)
When I reflect on this section of the 1 Peter 2 passage, navigating the word gymnastics that Peter decided to write here, verse 11, above all, stands out for several reasons.
It begins with a challenge: Don’t get too comfortable here because it’s not forever. Yet, I can’t help but examine the juxtaposition of knowing that the current home for my soul is my body, and this body lives in what’s known as earth. With that body comes an ego that either wins or loses every day.
What I find equally interesting is how the full passage depicts how God activates our soul to multiply his love amongst us all. And this is a hope that energizes me.
Let’s see how that notion tracks by spotlighting some key portions of the full passage in succession:
- “…you are the chosen ones”
- “God’s instruments”
- “tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you”
- “Live an exemplary life…”
- “Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens”
- “treat everyone with dignity”
- “Love your spiritual family”
- “Revere God and respect the government”
These are certainly mantras worth rallying for. It’s verses like these that serve as reminders of what is good for our body, heart, mind, and spirit. We are worthy of the love that God shares with us, and we can be the conduit of that love to revive and support those around us.
We have a country that is worth living for and loving others for. If we don’t call this our country–all of us, no matter where we came from or what we look like–then what does our country’s soul transform into?
This is not meant to be a political statement; it’s a statement about unchaining ourselves from unloving actions and making this home a distinct foreshadowing of our soul’s future home where we can be in harmony, peace, and Love itself.
Let us pray…
God, where do we turn to when even the words “god” and “country” cause us all to wonder about their definitions in this day and age? Please, come near to us to show us what this earth-home is supposed to look like right now and how we can build it to reflect the beauty You already see in us. Thank you for listening to us. Thank you for creating us to love. Amen.
Written by Joanna Clay
Joanna and her husband, Matt, live in Lincoln with their two young daughters, Emery and Madisen. The Clays have been members of the Sheridan community since 2014. Joanna is Senior Content Manager for a San Diego-based healthcare coaching company called Practicing Excellence. She enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, longboarding, binge-watching historical dramas, and connecting with others over life’s big questions.