We had just been considering what Peter says about the church in 1 Peter 2.9-10: 'you are the chosen race, the king's priests, the holy nation, God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. At one time you were not God's people, but now you are his people; at one time you did not know God's mercy, but now you have received his mercy.'
That is our high calling. That's who we are in God's great plan.
We mustn't forget who we are.
Next week, our last in the course, is the end of the world, or rather, how everything ends up in God's big plan.
Before that I shared with the group the letter Bishop Cyprian wrote to his friend Donatus in AD 248:
"This seems to be a cheerful world, Donatus, when I view it from this fair garden under the shadow of these vines. But if I climb some great mountain and look out over the wide lands, you know very well what I would see -- brigands on the road, pirates on the seas, in the amphitheatres men murdering each other to please the applauding crowds, and under all roofs I see misery and selfishness. It is really a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. Yet in the midst of it, I have found a quiet and holy people. They have discovered a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of this sinful life. They are despised and persecuted but they care not, These people, Donatus, are Christians and I am one of them."