“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” – 1 Peter 2:9
This morning’s scripture was heavy on my mind as my little blue car ascended the mountainside.
Just two days ago, the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation was celebrated. The tiny footnote of those that had gone on before that had made that day, 500 years ago possible was barely mentioned, if at all. For those to know the truth, the light must have been passed from the Apostolic times until that date, but by whom? The truth was made known in Peter’s writing which, if the rest of the story were known, would make perfect sense. For to know the truth, the Word of God becomes all that much more significant.
Where once inhabitants of the remote mountain valleys were known simply as barbarians, they eventually, by the grace of God, became known by another, which eventually made them targets for centuries to come. Their firm belief in the Word of God, their strict adherence to its every letter would lead them to be Apostolic in belief, but make them an object of aberration by the corrupted state Church because of their faith’s immovable tolerance for anything beyond the truth, the way, and the light of Jesus Christ. They would be sought for annihilation, purposeful extinction by the Church of Rome. In essence, theirs was the holocaust of the Alps.
The people of whom I speak are those of the Waldensian Valleys, located in the Cottien Region of the Alps situated in the northwest corner of Italy. They became a people, known as the “People of the Bible,” because of their memorization and preservation of its original content. Their families, generation after generation, would pass down these teachings until they would become one with them. In a sense, they would become a “holy nation” without borders, without a king, without a distinct leader. They would turn from pagan worship to that of the most ardent believers of Christianity; truly, they were called of the darkness and into the light, yes, the most marvelous light.
Although many shunned the spotlight of notoriety, they would become preachers, missionaries, and evangelists of the Word. Their ordination was by God, a royal priesthood if any. Yes, they were chosen by God for a reason, for a purpose, for a time, and thanks be to God, I have been blessed to have been born into that lineage, to which I now try to uphold some substance, some modicum of forbearance of what those that gave their lives so vividly upheld in their time. We are called into a time such as this to carry on the truth, to shed light upon the world wherever we may go.
My fervent prayer is that I may be able to continue to be a light to those around me in all that I do, each, and every day until my last breath on this earth.
Lux Lucet in Tenebris, The Light Shine in the Darkness.
Thanks be to God.