RECAP: A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD–based on 1 Peter 2:4-12
For the last several weeks, we have been studying the epistle of 1 Peter. We have been encouraged to remain faithful under pressure and to be the people of God. But how do we live for God when our culture gives an opposing message? Exactly what does it mean to be the people of God? Who should we be? Peter inspires us to live for God in five ways:
1) Live as God’s chosen people. God has chosen you. You are not an afterthought to God, but his prized possession. In Hebrew, the word for messenger or emissary comes from the exact same root word as king. The point is that the messenger or emissary carries with them all the weight and authority of the king! Likewise, when God chooses us, we carry all the authority of God within us. We do not have to livid with timidity, but we can live with confidence and boldness. Yes, this world opposes God; but God has our back. Greater is the one who is in us than the one in the world! You have been chosen by the King of the Universe! You do not have to live in fear!
2) Serve as a royal and holy priesthood. The role of the priest was to serve as the intermediary between God and humanity. Jesus was our great high priest; not only did he reconcile us to God through offering the ultimate sacrifice of his own life, but he stands in heaven interceding on our behalf. We are a royal priesthood. We carry God’s authority and are called to connect the world to God. Instead of running from the world or embracing the world, we should find ways to bring the message of the gospel to the world. We seek reconciliation with God; we intercede on behalf, so God can seek and save the lost.
3) Pledge our allegiance to God alone. Peter calls the church “a holy nation.” Last Sunday, we learned that holiness at its core means “set apart.” In other words, we are to be a people who are set apart for the will of God. That means our first and highest allegiance should be to God above all others. This constantly has been a source of tension with the world. Rome wanted allegiance, and the early Christians paid for lack of allegiance. The early Brethren would not pledge allegiance to anyone but God alone. It led to persecution not only in Germany but even here in the United States during the Revolutionary War. When God and country collide, our allegiance to God should supersede allegiance to the country.
4) Illuminate the light in the darkness. We were called to “declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Ann shared for the children’s story how the jack-o-lantern is like Jesus. To make a jack-o-lantern, you have to clean off the dirt, cut off the top and scoop out all of the junk on the inside, carve a smile for new life, and place a light inside of it. Likewise, for us, Jesus washed our sins away, cleaned out all of the junk inside of our heart, gave us hope of new life, putting joy in our hearts and a smile on our face, and placed his light inside each of us to shine bright. The way of the world is opposite the way of Christ. Jesus shows us mercy; this world wants to “cancel” anyone who offends. Let us show the light of hope!
5) Stand for what is right. Peter challenged the church to live such good lives, that even though we are accused of doing wrong, it will point others to Jesus. Yes, we may be ridiculed for standing by our convictions. We may face censure, blowback, hardship, and maybe even persecution. But as we stand, people will see what we stand for. You would think that under pressure, the church would have folded and simply relented to keep the peace. Instead, many willingly faced prison or death because they chose to stand on God. And the church continued to grow! Why? Because people notice and will put trust in something which people have deep convictions in!
God has chosen us, made us into his royal priesthood. We need to pledge our allegiance to God first and foremost, be that light in the darkness and stand for what is right. May the world change and come to know Jesus through our living!
Questions for reflection
1) What does it mean to you that you are chosen by God?
2) In what ways can you help bring people to God?
3) As you honestly reflect, is your true allegiance God? If not, what steps can you take to make God your first allegiance?
4) Where can you bring the light of Jesus?
5) What gives you the strength to stand on your convictions?
Pastor Ryan will continue the series, Faithfulness Under Fire, with the sermon titled, “A Kingdom People,” based upon 1 Peter 2:13-25. How do we follow in Jesus’ steps? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for October 26 – November 3
October 26: Hebrews 7:11-28 How was Jesus our priest?
October 27: Hebrews 8 In what way is Jesus the great high priest?
October 28: Hebrews 10:1-18 How did Jesus serve as our priest?
October 29: Malachi 2:1-9 Why was God against the priests of Israel?
October 30: Zechariah 3 What role did a priest have in the coming of Jesus?
October 31: Colossians 2:6-23 How did Jesus perform priestly function? And what should our response be?
November 1: Isaiah 56:1-8 Who are a part of the kingdom of God?
November 2: Ezekiel 47:1-12 How can the presence of God change things?
November 3: Micah 4:6-8 Who will be included in the kingdom of God?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, October 28 & Thursday, October 29–District Conference events via Zoom
Sunday, November 1–Congregational Business Meeting & Daylight Savings
Friday, November 6 & Saturday, November 7–Beaver Creek Cares Weekend
Sunday, November 8–Strength in Peers and Friendship Box Collection deadline
Sunday, November 15–District Conference Worship service
Sunday, November 22–Stewardship Sunday
Sunday, November 29–Advent Begins & Church Decorating
Places to Serve (from the Gifts and Calling Team):
We are still in need of a volunteer to serve on the following teams: Worship, Outreach, and Fellowship. If you are willing to serve, please contact Brad Eckard, Jeanette Hess, or Phyllis Simmons as soon as possible.
Beaver Creek Cares
We still will hold Beaver Creek cares on Friday, November 6 – Saturday, November 7. However, it will look a little different this year! More details are to come, but one of the projects we will do is a collection for Strength in Peers. They are an outreach literally on the streets of Rockingham and Page counties, as well as Harrisonburg City, to meet the needs of the homeless. Through Sunday, November 8, there will be a box in the narthex to collect the following goods:
Non-perishable food items: Nabs, etc.
Disposable rain ponchos
Feminine Hygiene products
Lotion or sunscreen
Tylenol or Advil
Shaving cream & disposable razors
Band-aids or small first aid kits
Slightly used backpacks
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Bible Study will continue on Sunday, November 1 at 6:30 pm. It will resume via Zoom for the time being. If you would like to participate but do not have Zoom ability, we can make alternative arrangements. The Zoom link is available from Pastor Ryan.
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
This year, we will have two services for Christmas Eve due to COVID–a 7 pm service and the traditional 11 pm service. We are asking that you call the church office and declare which service you plan to attend in order to make sure we can accommodate everyone.
Church Decoration/Ornament Exchange
Right after church on Sunday, November 29th, we will decorate the church for the season. We will also have a modified ornament exchange on that day, again, right after church. More details to follow.
Congregational Business Meeting
We will meet immediately after service on Sunday, November 1, to approve the budget, the ballot, one amendment, and receive reports. It is also Daylight Savings, so please remember the time change!
There is a draft of the 2021 directory in the narthex of church. Please check it and update any information that needs to be corrected.
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Please fill out those interest surveys and mail them back to the church office as soon as you are able. We want to target ministries for the youth in the months to come!
Friendship Box for nursing homes
The Outreach Team is putting together friendship boxes (care packages) for our members who are in the nursing homes. Index cards with specific items are located on the table in the narthex. Please bring the items with the card back by Sunday, November 8th for assembly.
Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website**NOTE** This avenue of giving will phase out on December 31. If you are currently using this format, the Finance Team encourages you to use the online giving tool.
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Mary Batterman (health)
Sam Carr (health, Chris Dastoli’s uncle).
Patsy Dastoli (health, Chris’s mother)
Regina Harlow (recovery & peace)
Eli Harlow (recovery).
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Heath Kimmell (health, Reba and Garry’s son-in-law)
LaDawn Knicely (recovery)
Alda Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Pam Shaffer (Mary Batterman’s daughter, health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health–Charles Wright’s brother)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB