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Hoping for Significance: Sharing Meaningful Scripture

“I want to do something that matters,” Jack said as we were having coffee at the local shop. Jack is a twenty-year-old college student who began to attend our church recently. I hosted a college meet-up in our local coffee shop, and we were talking about what we were looking forward to in the coming year. Our group almost collectively, as if on cue, lowered their gaze and nodded almost imperceptibly in acknowledgment of Jack’s comment. I asked the small group if they felt like they had done something meaningful in their lives so far. At first, there was silence, which rang so loudly in my head. Then, Corinne said the classes she was taking were somewhat meaningful, but she felt an itch to do something deeper that excited her.

As our group talked through their hopes and dreams for the new year, it was tough to let go of Jack’s comment. Each of the young adults agreed on some level—almost as though each of them was hoping for a significance that they felt they lacked. I prayed a quiet prayer.

God’s Word on Your Significance

A verse from 1 Peter came to mind, and I have been pondering it since then. 

“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” (1 Peter 2:9).

This incredible verse reminds each of us that we are God’s chosen people—His sons and daughters whom He loves. Our lives are inherently meaningful and important because of whose we are. 

Two Sundays ago, I ran into Jack at church. I asked how his week had been, and he thanked me for getting everyone together for coffee. I asked him what he was looking forward to in the coming week, and he told me he was interviewing for a job with his college TV station. Jack thought he might like to help produce the local segments. As we talked after church, I shared with him 1 Peter 2:9.  I didn’t have a lot of time to talk, but I asked him to read it, and maybe we could catch up later. 

Last week, Jack texted me, and we talked about the verse I shared with him. I asked him how his life might be different if he remembered each day that he was a son of God. He texted back that he wasn’t sure. He asked me how I would answer the same question. I thought about it—how could I describe in a text just how much being chosen by almighty God had transformed my life? I finally texted back, “I actually think this verse reminds me that every part of my life changed when I was chosen by God. I seek to live for Him.” I did not hear back right away from Jack. Eventually, I saw the three blinking dots that showed him composing his message back to me.

“Thanks, I will keep reading this. Maybe the same thing will happen for me.”

Scripture: ESV®.


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Written by

Shelli Haynes

Shelli serves as assistant youth and family minister at Red Hill Lutheran in Tustin, California. She has been a DCE in Southern California churches for twenty-one years! Shelli holds a BA from Concordia University in Irvine and a MA in family ministry from Concordia University in Seward. Shelli is wife to Travis and mama to two daughters, Megan and Mandy. She and her family love the beach, backyard badminton, and Giants baseball.

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