By Russ Ramsey
Section 2: People of the Light
For a number of years in a row, on the last Sunday of the year I would preach a sermon entitled “We are the Champions.” The sermon content was different each year, but the main idea was the same: as we bring one year to a close and look ahead to the next, let’s remember that Christians have a calling to point people to the love and grace of God—to be champions for Christ. Corny? Perhaps. But you couldn’t ask for a more memorable theme song.
In his first epistle, the apostle Peter spoke to the Christian’s purpose: “But you are…a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1Peter 2:9). We need to remember God’s initial call on His people was to establish them as a nation of priests. The people of God, from the beginning, were meant to be a city on a hill, a shining light in darkness, champions for the faith. This is what it meant to be a holy nation then, and it’s what it means to be a holy people now. We are to be a people who love those who do not know Christ with everything we have and are. We are called to be a royal priesthood.
Historically, the priests were the ones called to lead the entire nation in love, service, and mercy to those in desperate need of it. In Christ, we are all called to this office—to lead in modeling mercy to the poor, outcast, hopeless, and hurting. We are called to live as champions of grace for a world in need—all of us.
Imagine what would happen if we embraced this call. As we champion healthy relationships, our own personal spiritual growth, vibrancy in the church, and grace to a world in need, we will come to know more and more of what it means that these things are excellent, and worthy of praise—the fruit of being called out of darkness and into God’s marvelous light.
May God raise each one of us to champion excellent things as we prepare to step into a new year. May He show us what it means to walk in His light. May we be humbled by how we came to be a royal priesthood, confident in the One Who calls us to testify and serve. And through all this, may we come to know and rest, more and more, in the wonders of His love.