Walking Home Through a Strange Land – Part 1 of 2
Nov 11, 2014 1306
by Edward Fudge
Do you ever long for home–and sense that nothing in this world can ever quite fulfill that longing? Or sometimes feel, for an unexpected moment, that you really don’t belong? Ever suspect that your life has a purpose not yet clear even to you? If you answer Yes even once, the apostle Peter has a word for you today.
It’s in a letter we know as “First Peter,” or “One Peter” if you’re British or wish to sound as if you were. Peter addressed this document to Christians in five Roman provinces–people he describes as God’s chosen ones, but also as strangers–wherever they happen to live. This is not our home but “strange land.” God has us here for a reason. We are called here on a mission.
What is this mission to which we are called? It is to serve as God’s showpiece, his model community, his sampler of the new humankind. As God transforms us, our lives demonstrate hope and joy and peace. That whets the appetite of others who hunger to know their Creator. When they inquire of us regarding what they have observed, we are here to explain our hope (3:15-16) and to declare God’s wonderful saving deeds that moved us from darkness to light (2:9-10). Confirming our words are our actions–giving no basis for scandal or justifiable complaint.
When God raised Jesus from the dead, hope came alive. God showed himself deserving of our trust, and Jesus ascended to the Father who gave him a rank second only to God himself (1:3, 21; 3:17-22).
Jesus’ story unfolds in two stages–“suffering” and “glory”–and our mission takes place between his two. Whoever follows Jesus will also experience both suffering and glory–and in that same order (4:12-14). Our response to abuse, false accusations, even physical harm (2:12, 15; 3:14-16; 4:4-5, 19; 5:8-9) is simple–to keep on doing good, and to entrust ourselves to God the righteous judge who in the end will vindicate and reward his own (2:20-23; 4:19).
– Edward Fudge (used with permission, from GracEmail)