Peter told the early Christians that God called them to be a peculiar people. I cannot ever remember my parents admonishing me to be "peculiar." When I thought of peculiar, I thought about the old maid lady that lived down the street from us. Every time our baseball landed in her yard, she yelled at us, told us to go away and frowned so hard her face looked like a rotten peach. When I think of peculiar, I think of the times I have been daydreaming and suddenly added a comment to a conversation when the subject had longed changed from sports to the weather. The confused faces of my cohorts told me they thought I was downright "peculiar." I grew up thinking my family was normal and commonplace. Yet now I realize we were different, peculiar. Every family is in their own unique and usually beautiful way. Peter was telling the church they were to live differently than the people of their time. They were to be peculiar in love, devotion and worldview. They were love the unloved, forgive those who persecuted them and serve the least, the powerless and the stranger. They were to worship God passionately even if it drew criticism and ridicule. They were to give generously even in their poverty. They were to have confidence in an unseen presence that loved them and created them for a purpose greater than they could fully understand.
Because...God has demonstrated a peculiar love for us, his beloved children. How peculiar!