“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  (I Peter 2:9-10)  Last week we observed that to follow Jesus is to be called into the way of the cross; a path of suffering.  Even though these verses come before last week’s, we see that the way of the cross is also the path of light.  You and I had been stumbling about, trying to preserve our lives; unable to see the needs of others.  Now it is different: we are a royal priesthood who act on behalf of others. That is maybe hard to hear in these difficult times when the temptation is to place ourselves before others.  Yet these days of Corona isolation certainly have a way of clarifying one’s vision.  Many of us are discovering again just how wonderful are the simple pleasures of life: eating together, walking together, slowing down and realizing how blessed we truly are.  But there is a deeper lesson for us here as well: you and I, as we walk in the way of the cross are empowered to help others find their way.  Having received mercy, we are empowered to share mercy.  You and I count because Christ has numbered us among his people.  What a joyous message to share with those who do not know that they count; those who may be fearful, those who have not yet enjoyed God’s wonderful mercy.  Have a great week.