What do you cling to or turn to when you suffer? That’s the question God answers in 1 Peter 3:13-22. He gives us important answers to a very relevant question! Now, 1st Peter isn’t written to people who were enduring a pandemic, suffering under social-distancing, and worried about aging parents and the economy. It was written to those who were suffering for following Christ. They were experiencing social isolation, rejection, and financial/business loss. So, we do have some special points of connection here! I am thankful that we are providentially in 1st Peter.
So, where have you been turning this week? What have you been clinging to? If you are like most people, you’ve tuned into a lot of news watching, scanned through a lot of social media, gotten lost in a new novel, binge-watched a fair number of shows, and spent a LOT of time on the internet looking for information, help, distraction, and connection.
As our social-distancing continues, it’s going to get harder. If the novelty hasn’t already worn off, it will soon. So, what are we going to cling to during this time of difficulty and suffering? That’s what we’re going to be looking at this Sunday and next week in our Daily Worship Devotions as we consider 1 Peter 3:13-22.
Just a heads up: some of the verses in this week’s passage (1 Peter 3:13-22) are regarded by many as the most confusing, perplexing, and obtuse verses in the whole of the Bible. Some commentators say that there are 180 different possible interpretations of this passage! However, even if we are not 100% sure what Peter is getting at in verses 19-22, the main points of the passage are clear. So, don’t get too distracted with the mystery of verses 19-22, and try to focus on the main points of the passage. Try this exercise: if you had to preach a sermon on 1 Peter 3:13-22, one that focused mostly on verses 18-22 and was titled, “What Do You Cling To When You Suffer?”, what would your main points be? Take a stab at it and we’ll see on Sunday if we are seeing the same things!
Lastly, here are some helpful resources to help you find God and sanity during these times. I think this is an opportunity for us to find God and re-prioritize. I especially encourage you to consider the third link on Spiritual Rhythms for Quarantine. At a time like this when our normal rhythms have been disrupted, I believe adopting the schedule and practices of what is called “The Common Rule” will be very helpful and spiritually reviving.
Also, check your inbox for emails from Pastor Bob from this week. We want to make sure you stay connected to God, your church family, and are enabled and encouraged to serve. Let’s especially serve our neighbors – including the Latino families in our After-School Tutoring Mission (Pastor Bob’s email includes a great opportunity and instructions on how we are doing that).
Yours in Christ and in prayer,
“The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb, when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things — praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts — not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs.” C.S. Lewis