1 This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace. (1 Peter 1:1-2)
We begin a new journey this fall through an ancient letter penned by one of Jesus’ closest friends and followers — Peter. It’s written with the urgency and tenderness of a concerned pastor to believers scattered about in a world where it is unpopular and even dangerous to be an outspoken Christian.
Right out of the gate he reassures them that even though they may feel like a minority living against the grain of the culture around them — that is, feeling like “foreigners” in this world, they are in fact known and were chosen by Godlong ago.
This letter will inspire confidence as we remember God has breathed his powerful Spirit into us, and that same Holy Spirit has set us apart (“made holy”) for a higher calling to become entirely new kinds of people in the power and protection of God.
As we begin this journey, do you ever feel like a foreigner in this land? Do you watch the highly news and just shake your head with disbelief at the brokenness and evil around us? Do you have a deep ache to leave a better world for your children and grandchildren? Are you feeling like we’ve lost the “culture war” and the world is only growing worse? Do you fear that people of faith are losing cultural respectability and freedoms?
As you try to practice your faith at work, at school, among your neighbors, or even in your own home, do you feel like an alien? If so, Pastor Peter has written a letter just for you! And he wants you to know right off the bat that as you continue to live in faithful obedience to Jesus (and it will cost you!), and as you remember daily that your old life of sinhas been cleansedby the blood Jesus’ shed on the cross for you, you can begin to experience (here and now) “more and more peace and grace” that comes from God.
Now, who doesn’t desire larger daily doses of both peace and grace?
Grace and peace!