By REV. DR. BRIAN GIGEE
“Everybody, Anybody, Nobody or Somebody?”
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
-1 Peter 2:9-10
There is an old story about a community gathering to solve a local problem. It was a big enough problem requiring a team to get it done. As they gathered, all agreed that everybody wanted this to happen… and they surmised just about anybody could do this. And as they talked it through, they realized somebody would take on the challenge and as a result… nobody did. Isn’t that interesting? Everybody. Anybody. Somebody. Nobody. They seem to be everywhere, and they seem to be us!
Q: What’s the difference between being a nobody and being a somebody?
A: God. You. Everyone else. All of the above.
Everyone desires to be recognized. It starts when parents hold up a camera to a child… “smile”… and then children learn to raise their hands in school… and then as they grow older they find out there are “A’s” for excellence and trophies, banners and medals for exceptional effort! Young adults find out about ‘promotions’ along with ‘employee-of-the-year’ awards. Mothers and fathers get cards on their special days and we all look forward to people remembering our birthday. Finally, we get our names carved in marble and placed in a big field with hundreds of others with a ‘dash’ representing all that we said and did from the day we were born to that day we died. Sometimes someone is mentioned in a book or they have a street or building, or tournament named after them. Or… if really important… you just might have a city named in your honor.
Yet, we all have those times when we feel like a nobody. Our team loses. A marriage fails. Then again. A job is lost. A child runs away causing a parent to think they failed. Too many times that ‘moment’ gets missed. And a lot of people I know get to age 55 or so and look back over their shoulders asking, “what have I done with my life?” and are often not quite sure if they have a good answer to the question.
Anybody can be a nobody. But, in the eyes of God… everybody is somebody. Think of how you got here. Biology 101. Think of your family’s history and all that has transpired providing the news you might never have been part of this world at all. Yet here you are! God has noticed. Faith matters. We’ve received God’s mercy. Jesus has faith in me and you!
One of Jesus’ great promises proclaims… “I have come that you may have life… a life that is abundant and full.” (John 10:10). It is great news! It’s the deep, eternal reality flowing from our baptism… to be claimed as a child of God… coupled by the gift of holy communion at the Lord’s table when the words are spoken… “given and shed for YOU!” as bread and wine are shared to all who show up. This is God’s grace and love and promise turning a nobody into a somebody… making them part of a holy nation and a royal priesthood… as everybody rejoices that anybody can! When Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world… that death was for everyone… everyone who ever lived… living now and those who still to come. Wow!
This makes me want to treat everybody like a somebody. Nobody should be left out. Not nobody. Not no how. And as we all live in the light… to play our part… great things happen within us and around us. Anybody listening?
Rev. Dr. Brian K. Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches in Texas and Louisiana over the last four decades. You can follow his blog ‘murmurings’ at https://briangigee.wordpress.com/. Send comments and questions to [email protected].