Lent 3, Thursday, Year B

Inspired by Exodus 19:1-9a 

“Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.” Exodus 19:5-6 (NRSV) 

All the world, everyone and everything in it, belongs to God. It’s easy to forget that when so many people and systems seem to work against the will of the Lord, but the fact remains. God is everywhere, with everyone, engaged with everything.

But those who keep his covenant have a special relationship with God. First offered to the Israelites after they were rescued from their bondage in Egypt, the love of the Son later expanded that offer to those outside of Israel. Out of the whole earth, those who obey his voice and keep his covenant are the treasured possession of the Lord, a priestly kingdom and a holy nation, transcending geographical borders, cultural identity, political ideologies, even chronological time itself.

But such a relationship is not a cause for self-righteousness. It’s a call to action, a solemn responsibility. Being a priestly kingdom and a holy nation means serving as a light to the nations, an important vehicle through which God makes his love and his will known to everyone else. Our status as God’s treasured possession is not to set us over and against the rest of the world, but to demonstrate for all the glory and the honor that come with obeying God’s voice and keeping his covenant, a covenant that is still open to all who believe.

Let us pray. Transcendent God, you desire all the world to know you and obey your voice. Enable us to keep your covenant, that we may be a light to the nations and thus proclaim your holy name. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.