The Israelites had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain.Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 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.”
So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. The people all answered as one: “Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.” ~ Exodus 19:2-8a
Have you ever been someone's treasured possession?
OK...maybe I'm not crazy so much about the language here. Human beings aren't meant to be other human being's possessions, treasured or not.
But you get the gist...sometimes someone is so precious to us, it is like our most treasured possession. It is someone we would protect with our life.
We are God's treasured possessions. And God wanted to Hebrew people to know it and to respond to it. God reminded them of what God had done for them - freed them from slavery.
Was it too much to ask them to remember this?
Being God's treasure possession comes with great and wonderful gifts: gifts of love and protection. Gifts of holiness and blessing.
It also comes with responsibilities: the responsibility of stewardship. to care for God's creation, the responsibility of compassion, to care for God's people.
And the responsibility of faithfulness. Remembering whose we are and living lives worthy of that call.
Remembering that being treasured by someone should move us into treasuring them (and others) as well.
The Hebrew people forgot that over and over again. And so do we. As Lutherans, we lean in hard to grace. And we should.
But God still calls us to live into the promises and responsibilities a life of faith calls us to.
Help me to live a life worthy of the calling you have given me. Amen