What’s the difference between the word “me” and the word “us”? What’s the difference between the word “I” and the word “we”? Is the answer obvious?
As you learned from Mrs. Whoever in the 3rd grade, words like “me” and “I” are singular, while words like “we” and “us” are plural. “I” refers to me. “We” talks about us. Makes sense, right?
“Pastor Bryan, why are you giving me a grammar refresher,” you may wonder. The answer is fairly simple. I want us to think about words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “us” because they can have a HUGE impact on the way we live out our relationship with God.
I’ll give you some examples...
“We” and “us” are pretty safe words, right? Because they’re plural, they’re big and easy to hide behind. We can say “God wants for us to be holy” or “We should live pure lives so that people can see God through us” or “Our lives are meant to glorify God”... and it’s easy to fade into the background and let everyone else in the “us” and “we” categories carry the weight. But is that fair? If I replace “we” and “us” with “I” and “me,” are these sentences still easy and safe?
“God wants for me to be holy.”
“I should live a pure live so that people can see God through me.”
“My life is meant to glorify God.”
That’s tougher, isn’t it?
Or maybe “us” and “we” are important words because they divide us into groups. And when we’re divided into groups, it’s easy to let ourselves believe that somehow “our” faith works a little differently depending on which group we’re in. But what if God doesn’t have different expectations for different groups of people? Rich Christians and poor Christians, Republican Christians and Democrat Christians, straight Christians and LGBT Christians; we are all asked to live the same way:
Do you see a theme here? It’s a theme that’s been working itself out during worship over the past few weeks. It’s a theme that you’ll see in the last message of our Exodus series this week. God wants for our community to be holy... but that will only happen when we are holy... and we will only be holy when I am holy.
“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16)
Holy Trinity family, I feel truly honored to follow Christ with you. I enjoy figuring out what it means for our Holy Trinity community to be holy. I enjoy thinking about the unique challenges our faith brings and how each of us must feel such different things when we’re encouraged to be “holy.”
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What do you think our community feels when we are challenged to be holy?