When I watch the news or scroll through my news feed, I find myself more and more shaking my head and wondering, “How on earth did we get here?!” Can you identify? Now, let me be clear, in many, many, many regards I’d rather live here today than as a Christian in the 1st century or in the days when you could die from an infected tooth! And yet, we live in an increasingly bizarre and troubling world.
For example, I recently saw a news report that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a “topless” ban. This means that it could soon be completely legal for women to walk down Main Street totally topless in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The lawsuit was brought from folks who are part of a “Free the Nipple” movement. The rational is discrimination and equality: if it’s not illegal for a man to be topless in public, then it can’t be illegal for women.
Written to churches and Christians that were experiencing the pressure of persecution and the rejection of their world, God has much to say to us in 1st Peter. This Sunday we start a season in 1 Peter that will take us through next February. Again, in many ways I’d rather live today as a Christian than in 1 Peter’s day under Emperor Nero. After all, there is general agreement that Peter himself was executed by Nero for being a Christian! However, we do live in a place and time that is increasingly hostile to Christianity and Christians. It looks like it’s only going to get worse. So how do we remain faithful and not give up or shrink back?
In our alienating and confusing world, God, through 1st Peter, calls us to hope, reminds us that we are not forgotten, and encourages us to participate in his building us up and together into a “spiritual house.” (That’s a general overview of the message of 1st Peter.)
So take some time to read through the first chapter of 1st Peter this week. On Sunday, and next week in our Daily Worship Devotions, we will focus in on 1 Peter v1-2. There is a LOT of great and crucial stuff in those two verses.
I look forward to worshiping together with you on Sunday.
Yours in Christ,