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Being “peculiar”

From the November 2021 issue of The Christian Science Journal

How truly special, privileged, and chosen each person is, as God’s beloved child. We can wake up each morning with this inspiring thought! As St. Peter said, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (I Peter 2:9).

These days, however, many might equate being “peculiar” with being unpopular, odd, ostracized. It may conjure up images of the ascetic life, abiding by strict vows of poverty and silent seclusion. But it might also recall the mere handful of followers at Jesus’ crucifixion, while most whom he’d healed or who’d witnessed his great works abandoned him. Isaiah even prophesied the unenviable life Jesus was destined to lead: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Why, then, would anyone willingly choose to pursue such a “peculiar” life?

In the Bible, being peculiar implies being particular, singular, special. The early Christians seemed to pride themselves on breaking away from tired orthodoxies and rigid dogma to pursue the fresh inspiration of the Christ, as demonstrated by Jesus. They must have glimpsed something far greater than earthly honors, wealth, recognition, or popularity—something more perfect and divine—and this truth made them willing, even eager, to forgo everything else. 

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