“If you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own people”.
Ex 19:5 GNB
In the years between the wars a church community in Walworth, London, formed a great youth club. Led by a minister called Jimmy Butterworth, it did wonderful work amongst the youth of a poor area. Many of the youngsters came from broken homes. They managed to build a large hall and called it “Clubland”. In the early years of the war an air raid took place one night in that part of London. Jimmy Butterworth was up at the first crack of dawn and hurried round to see if his precious youth centre had been damaged. It was a pile of rubble. He spent an hour disconsolately surveying and crunching around the ruin. As he was about to leave he heard another footstep crunching around and saw one of the lads to whom Clubland had been a second home. “Cor blimey, guvnor, it’s a right royal mess, aint it?” asked the lad. “Yes Tommy”, Butterworth replied, “it’s worse than a mess. It means it’s all over”. The lad shot back, “What d’yer mean ‘It’s all over. You’ve still got us, aintcher?”
As the Clubland youth were a community belonging to Jimmy Butterworth, so were the Israelites. They belonged to God. The bonds that bound them to him were his calling to Abraham and his rescue of them from slavery in Egypt. They were in the process of becoming a nation. But they would always be “God’s own people”. The Christian church became God’s own people as well, no longer defined by blood and nationality, but by their faith in Jesus and their loyalty to him. They still are.
Lord, let me be among the true and loyal people of God.