Today's Scripture Reading
1 Peter 1:3-9
Born Again to a Living Hope
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
In this week’s gospel reading, Jesus sends the disciples out into the world as Jesus had been sent (John 20:21). They were hiding afraid after Easter, but Jesus sends them out among the people. That’s how they were to live as Easter people.
The reading from 1 Peter this week echoes a similar question. How do we live as Easter people? As followers of the One who would not stop demonstrating the healing and wholeness of the realm of God, even though it put his life in danger from the powers that be, what comes after Easter Sunday?
Easter is such a joyous day, but there is real expectation of us in it too. Like the first disciples to whom Jesus appeared in John 20, like the young Christian communities of Asia Minor who first received this letter we know as 1 Peter, we are sent to live the love of the risen Christ out in our everyday lives. Sometimes that puts us at odds with our larger context.
Some Christians today, like the first hearers of 1 Peter, live in an area were theirs is a minority religion. For such Christians, their values and practices cause tension with their families, their neighbors, their communities. It is still dangerous in some parts of our world to be followers of Jesus.
For other Christians in communities in which their religion is a majority, their Christian values can put them in conflict with the larger society’s values. Those who speak with concern for the poor, for peace, for justice, for creation, can be ridiculed or marginalized.
1 Peter recognizes that living as Easter people doesn’t mean everything will be joyous or perfect all of the time simply because we are following Jesus. But it is an encouragement for the times when the living of your faith may put you in contrast to the larger community’s values.
"Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
Today's devotion was shared by