So last night we had this incredible time of being together! yea, you guys are really a lot of fun to be with. what was really neat was for us to take ourselves back and simulate how a letter would be read to those in a particular city, to those in that particular city who had gathered in a particular place to hear the words of encouragement and hope the writers of the letters were desiring to penetrate hearts. Hearts that as today need reminders, refreshing, encouraging. We receive this from one another as we meet together in our homes, at work and in schools. And yes on a Sunday night in the nut house.
What we did was to close our eyes and listen as the first few paragraphs, words from 1 peter 1 were read. We then pretended that someone who wasn’t able to come to the particular place within the particular city yet desired to know what Peter had to say. Peter a man who now later on in years, one who has never been afraid to speak, has something to say to those who have been scattered. We went on to realize that as people heard the words to be truly glad in the trials, that the trials will show a world around us our faith is genuine…take a peek (remember our first century brothers and sisters didn’t have this luxury of going to back to see what was written) the words would have to be absorbed into our being in order to share with our family, fellow sojourners. Absorbed to the point that when someone who missed or just couldn’t make it because of a particular trial in this particular city where they had to scatter to in order to avoid death from Nero.
1Pe 1:6-7 NLT 6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
After you hear these words spoken from someone who was able to make it and hear the letter from peter read, you confide that you’re just not glad…how in the world can Peter say this? Does he have any idea How #@$U** hard this is? We have been displaced from our homes, landing in this area of galatia, work is scarce, fear within abounds on who to trust. Does he realize the struggle? Where is God in ALL of this?
And the answer is yes peter would and does realize, hence the letter, and the person who is reciting part of the letter to this particular person who is going through this particular trial in this particular city, recalls and reminds that peter too was scattered about. He reminds this one who maybe doesn’t know Peter like this guy, and this guy who knows peter a bit deeper is reminding him and us how Peter did and does travel through the trials that land on his trail….
He(Peter) draws on and beLIeVES that God has overcome the world, he beLIeVES that God is always with him (emmanuel). He reminds himself as he is reminding this person that the God’s wrath has been satisfied through Jesus Christ and the resurrection of Christ gives us life. through our beLIeVING we are then the favorite place for God to dwell and that’s within us. the Helper, the mighty Counselor, the one who is HIM within is carrying us down the trail. So peter is reminding that joy is not in the circumstances, but in knowing we are secure with CHRIST!
Which then shows a world our faith is genuine,…..how? well we aren’t trying to “figure” out where God is in the moment….HE is with us ALWAYS! YES YES YES YES YES! that’s good news folks.
In closing we will continue to imitate our brothers and sisters of 1st century as we have some folks share their letter so to speak over the next few weeks….Solita Morris will lead us off this Sunday as she shares with us part of her trail. The following week Gary Orrand will be one to lead us through some of the trials that landed on his trail. You will be encouraged and strengthened from being with them. Begin to pray over them and each other as we continue to gather in our homes, at work, school and on sundays.
love em up!