I guess I’m a word person.
I fall in love with certain words and phrases.
Here’s one that is now way overused, but the first time I heard it, I loved it.
It’s when you tack something onto the word “nation.”
For example, we
Oh, I know now there is a “nation” for everything.
There’s “Trek Nation” for Star Trek fans.
“Clay Nation” for Clay Aiken fans.
There’s even “Chevy Nation” for fans of Chevrolet.
And then there’s “Carrie Nation”…no wait, that’s a real person.
And what would we have if everyone in the country drove pink cars? A Pink Carnation. : )
Anyway, I know it’s overdone, but I still think it’s cool.
And you know what? For the life of me I can’t think of the first time I heard the word nation used that way. I have taxed my brain, and I just can’t come up with it.
One thing I remember is that as a kid I was fascinated by all the American Indian tribes, and they always went by “such-and-so Nation.”
For example, there’s the Blackfoot Nation and the Cherokee Nation. I said I was a fan of words, and I still like those Indian tribe names. They have some of the coolest words: Navajo, Choctaw, Comanche, Apache, Iroquois, Pawnee, Seneca, and here in
I suppose there is a such-and-so nation for just about everything these days. Now let me ask, why is that?
I think it’s because we all like to be identified with a group. There is something in human nature that makes us want to be part of a group.
When I was in college, many kids identified themselves by their fraternity or sorority. Then another group popped up. They were sort of anti fraternity and sorority, and they called themselves the Romans.
A friend of mine was laughing the other day because he pulled out his old FFA jacket from high school. That’s a group that some kids were proud to be identified with, the Future Farmers of America.
Some high schools limit what kids can wear so they don’t identify themselves by gang membership.
There is just something about us. We want to be part of a group. Our team. Our “nation.”
I thought about all this while I was reading First Peter 2:9. There we find a new name for God’s people: “Holy Nation.”
Can you imagine a member of “Cardinal Nation” going to Wrigley Field in
And that’s the way we should be as members of the “Holy Nation.” We should stand out from everyone else. First Peter says that we should be “aliens and strangers” in this world. Verse 12 says we are to live amazingly good lives, so much so that even the unholy will see our good deeds and end up glorifying God.
Think of it this way. If you were charged with being “holy,” would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Our holiness should stand out. It should shine bright.
When my son was getting a cast put on his arm from a wrestling “incident” I ran into a member of “Gator Nation.” He was getting a big cast on his leg, and he was insisting that it be “Gator Orange.” He was in full Gator array, including t-shirt and ball cap. He stood out. In a city of “Garnet and Gold” he stood out.
So the question is, do we stand out?
Philippians 2:15 says we should be “blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation” in which we “shine like stars in the universe…”
We don’t need brightly colored t-shirts. Our purity should shine for us. Our goodness should call out to everyone, “Here we are, children of God, and proud members of the “Holy Nation.”
(As heard on Wave 94.1 FM)