At family prayers this evening (otherwise known as "candles") I read the following verses out loud from 1 Peter. They're from the daily lectionary on the eve of Pentecost.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2: 9-10)
I found myself in grateful tears as I read those final words. We speak of Pentecost as the birthday of the church, the people of God, and we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit who knits us/builds us together. And these verses remind us not only of the immense grace-filled truth that we've been called out of darkness into God's marvelous light, receiving mercy when we were so desperately in need of mercy, but that we've been called into the light and bathed in mercy for a reason: that we may proclaim the excellencies of the one who called us. Amen.