Week 17 Word: Royal Priesthood
Week 17 Text: 1 Peter 2:9
Written by: Rachel Hopper
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him, who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)
I never wanted children. In fact, on my first date with my now husband, I threw it out on the table that it’s been a deal breaker in past relationships. I wanted him to know in advance that children were not on my heart, in my head or in my plans. I remember us discussing my career-focused perspective, and then it was on to the next topic. I thought, he is going to think I’m crazy and never call me again. Instead, he just took me on a plane ride over Dallas to watch the sunset (yes, this was our first date, and yes, an actual plane ride. It was like I was on The Bachelor)– and I just told him I didn’t want children.
But as Forrest and I courted to marriage and into our first year of wedded bliss, God began to create a spark in my heart toward having a child. Forrest had always felt called to be a father. He has long had a spreadsheet of “life lessons to teach my future children,” which included things like always taking the harder road in order to develop grit and making your bed every morning so that you’ve accomplished at least one thing every day. You want to know what would have been on my list before God’s intervention? Keep my child away from my Girl Scout cookies. (Wait, that is still on the list.)
All this to say, I am proclaiming the excellencies of Christ, who called me out of darkness and into His marvelous light. None other than a divine intervention could have shaped my heart into what it currently is, and I imagine for you it’s the same. We’ve all come from (or are currently in) something dark, whether it’s lack of purpose or increase of pain, dealing with disappointment or dismay, anxiety or anorexia. And you know what? As soon as we accept Christ into our hearts, we are brought from the darkness to the light. This is enough for everyone to stop reading right now and say thank you, Lord.
We are a royal priesthood. Peter uses this metaphor to show that we are poised, ready and able to exude holy living. I will carry many gifts and skills, and I will be of service to others. In the moments of His transformation in my heart, I am learning how to have reverence towards my many roles–a respect for the path He has provided. Reverence leads to proclamation. When we see and understand what we’ve been delivered from, we can share widely and openly to others how our God did this.
Refinement cannot capture all the scrubbing I’ve been through since that spark ignited in my heart–from shifts in my priorities to being enlightened on how I could continue working while being a mom. Ultimately, an acknowledgment to His goodness is our sweet little girl, Elsie Gwendolyn (2.5 years old) and our boy, Shepherd William, due in July. I never knew that I would be equipped to carry, deliver, raise and lead children. I consider it pure joy that God gave me the ability to do so.
I am a royal priesthood, chosen and holy, so that I may proclaim, exude, and live out His excellencies, not mine. My excellencies would have been drastically different without that transformation. Our excellencies aren’t forwarding the kingdom of God. Our excellencies will always fail. God’s excellency will never fail.
1. What can you proclaim?
2. How can you praise God through your service to others?
3. Journal about how being a royal priesthood changes your perspective on the skills and talents you’ve been given to serve others.
Rachel Anne Hopper is a wife, mom, friend, encourager, and a believer living life with an attitude of grace, gratitude and grit. She gets fired up by faithful friendships, relationship building, the perfect crescendo in a song, exchanging whispers with God, her daughter’s laugh and the way her husband dances her around the kitchen. She is a college administrator and believes in the immeasurable joy our work life can bring us. Additionally, she is writing Fullness of Joy: A Well for the Working Woman and serves on the Women in the Workplace Board at her church.