December 20 (Daily reading: 1 Peter) “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” (2:9). Christmas is a time of giving gifts. The greatest gift the world has ever known is the gift of God’s Son as Savior: “For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you” (1:20). Peter described this gift, saying that we are “a chosen people.” As such, we identify with Christ, who was “chosen by God and precious to Him” (2:4, NIV). As His chosen people, we have become “God’s special possession.”
Another aspect of the gift of Christ is that in Him we have become “a royal priesthood” and we have direct access to God. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God” (3:18). In Jesus we can know God! He said: “No one comes to the Father but through Me” (Jn. 14:6). Why “royal”? At Christmas time, we emphasize Christ coming as the “Prince of Peace” who will reign “on the throne of David and over his kingdom” (Is. 9:6-7). We belong to this royal household!
Also, this gift signifies that He has “called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Isaiah prophesied: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them” (Is. 9:2). According to Matthew 4:16, Jesus fulfilled that prophecy. John wrote: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men” (Jn. 1:4). “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness” (Jn. 8:12).
– Al Gary