I don’t know how long I sat there. The desert behind me, I perched myself on the rocky rim of the bowl-shaped city, Las Vegas. The desert breeze cooled as the sun disappeared behind the horizon. Daylight faded into darkness, and the individual, solitary street lights, office lights, house lights, store lights, traffic lights, stadium lights, casino, and attraction lights joined together in one unified glow. The light pierced the darkness, like a beacon of hope and evidence of life.
As I sat on the precipice between the dark emptiness of the vast wilderness behind me and the bright city teeming with life and every amenity known to man, I chewed on this profound truth:
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Access. It’s all about access. Access to life. Access to the Creator and Sustainer of life.
Twenty months ago, I packed all my earthly possessions in my Ford Escape and embarked on a long, lonely drive from Washington to Las Vegas. The full impact of my own vulnerability in the Western wilderness did not hit me until the second day of driving alone through southern Utah. With only two frappuccinos and one water left in the cooler, a fearful thought suddenly gripped me––What if I break down out here?! This “what if” scenario led to many others. By the time I finally laid eyes on Las Vegas, this country girl had talked herself into the city life.
How marvelous, how wonderful, that God has called both Jews and Gentiles who believe in His Son to be citizens of God’s city––the united people of God!
How marvelous, how wonderful, that God has called both Jews and Gentiles who believe in His Son to be citizens of God’s city––the united people of God! I was the stranger! I was the foreigner who couldn’t even speak the language! That was me! I was thirsty! I was lost in cold and darkness! I was vulnerable to wild beasts! God gave me citizenship to His city through the blood of His Son, our High Priest, Jesus the Messiah. God called me to a royal priesthood! The greatest privilege of priesthood is having access to the sovereign God. Because I believe, I now have access to God, the Father, through His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:12–22; Hebrews 8––10).
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We live in a very dark, sin-cursed world. Turn on the news and everyone feels it. Everyone knows it. Emptiness, darkness, hopelessness, death. In the midst of this darkness, a beam of praise shoots forth! “And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:5–6).
May my proclamation of His excellencies shine brighter than the Luxor of Las Vegas!