This is my comfort in my distress,
that your promise gives me life.
When they return from exile, the land is to be divided equally.
1 Peter 2:11-3:7
This letter gives instruction to people who were being treated unjustly, specifically including household slaves, a reminder that people even at the lowest ranks of society were included in the Christian community from the beginning, a note to us that they still are.
The message is to those who suffer, a group we still have among us.
What about Christianity causes someone to suffer unjustly?
How does doing something right cause someone to suffer?
Does any suffering that we do because we are Christians really evoke the image of Christ's suffering?
For those of us who find the membership in a Christian church full of rewards rather than threats of harm, is there something that we are neglecting? Are we not doing something that God would approve of?
I hope I can remember this passage, 2:22-25, the next time someone cuts me off in traffic or gets ahead of me in line. When Christ was abused--and, in his case unlike mine, really abused, he responded not with threats or revenge but entrusting himself to God.
In what way can we live for righteousness? How would our lives change if we began to understand that revenge was sinful and that we don't have to practice that particular sin anymore?
Peter says "For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd...." Isn't it about time for us to join that flock?
When the righteous triumph
there is great glory,
but when the wicked prevail,
people go into hiding.
No one who conceals transgressions will prosper,
but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Prayer for Today: O Lord, unify us, kindle within us sympathy and love for each other. Guide us into forgiveness and away from retribution. Amen.