Truth For The Moment
Do you have a favorite book of the Bible?
Really, as you think about the breadth of Scripture and all the plethora of books it contains – short, long, simple, complex, storied, lettered, prophetic, poetic, etc. – is there one book that rises to the surface of your heart as the one book that you love?
Maybe it’s one that holds a nostalgic appeal from ages past.
Maybe it’s one you always land in at the first of every year.
Maybe it’s one that has remained a mystery to you on varying levels.
Maybe it’s one that, without fail, encourages you at the deepest place and best time.
For me, it’s 1 Peter. Twenty years ago a mentor of mine challenged me to memorize it from start to finish. Today, I’d struggle to get through the first chapter. Even still, over the years 1 Peter has become my favorite book of the Bible, for more than a few reasons.
Among those reason, and maybe the biggie, is the Peter we meet who is writing the pages of this letter is nothing like the Peter we meet decades prior who is strolling along the dusty roads following Jesus in the pages of the Gospel’s.
The years between Peter casting nets into the Sea of Galilee and him writing letters to a still youthful Church in the first century changed him, dramatically. Much like a potter may form a rumpled mound of slick clay into a decorative vessel worthy of a King’s mantel, so somewhere during those years – and more likely everywhere during those years – experiences and events and trials and tests formed Peter into an Apostle worthy of listening ears then and now.
Doesn’t that alone give you hope and courage? I know, for me, it gives me hope that God, by His immense grace, can and is transforming me into something more and other than who I am today.
Here, then, Peter puts pen to paper and speaks into the life of the Church; into the life of Christians, many who were suffering, some who weren’t, and passes on some of the richest truths and most meaningful insights to give them courage to live another day for Christ. And he goes after it right out of the gate.
In view for Peter was the Church – big “C” – scattered, in verse 1, throughout the whole region of Asia Minor; which is mostly where Turkey is now. Peter calls them foreigners, but not primarily because they are citizens of anther region. Nope. Rather, he calls them foreigners because they are citizens of another realm; they are citizens of a Kingdom not of this world.
These folks back then, and you and me now, we are strangers in a strange land. And we may feel that in this historical moment during this ever lengthening season of worldwide health concerns and national political division.
What is happening to our world?
What is happening to our country?
We feel it, collectively, at a gut level, we weren’t made for this sort of isolation; we weren’t made for fearful living. We were made for so much more.
Jesus said something about abundant life, didn’t he!?
Well Peter looks us all in the eye, so to speak, and with compassion and authority tangled up together in the same tone he levels four encouraging words of truth on his readers then and on his readers today; on you and me…
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago for this very moment.
His Spirit; the Holy Spirit, has set you apart for this moment.
As a result of that, you have chosen to obey Him in this moment.
And you have been cleansed for this moment by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Set aside the fact that this verse – verse 2 – is a landmark verse pointing to the reality of a triune God. Besides that, isn’t this a Wow! verse? These are all true about you and me today! Can I get an Amen?!
Friend, may you and I live into these truths in these days; these moments. And may “grace and peace be yours in abundance” today.