Lent 2023 Day 32: Thu 30 Mar

Lent 2023 Day 32: Thu 30 Mar

1 Peter 1.3-9

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.

This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

The opening words of this passage look like a hymn of praise. The words flow and express an eternal truth. It’s always worth reading that opening again, slowly, and to spend time pondering its meaning, as if you are savouring fine food or drink.

Praise God for his mercy! Without it we are lost, for we do not deserve anything. Everything has been done for us by Christ Jesus, our Saviour and Lord. He came to earth, he suffered and died for us, and God raised him from death. We are forgiven! We are family! We are forever!

This life may have its trials – think of what Peter went through – but what is to come is in another dimension. Life is miniscule in comparison, but we’ll understand that completely on another day! Like Paul, Peter was of the view that Christ Jesus’ return to earth was not going to be that long in the future, so the apocalyptic was always present in their thinking and writing.

Part of our present life experience is to suffer for our faith. It may be through criticism, name-calling, challenges, abuse, persecution, imprisonment, torture, loss of life. We might think that that is a bit far-fetched, but how would your faith stand up in North Korea in the face of oppression? I am waiting to meet, greet and spend eternity with presently unknown brothers and sisters in Christ in glory who stood up for Jesus in ways I dare not, and who went through terrors I can’t even imagine for the sake of Jesus.

Is Jesus likely to return in our time?

How much do you love him, the one you cannot see? Be honest with yourself.

Do you get excited about the nature of your inheritance?

What do you imagine is waiting there for you?

Father God, the congregations in those far-flung churches must have heard Peter’s words with great joy. Bring about that same joy in me as I grow to discover the extent of your great mercy and the hope you have given me through Jesus’ resurrection. Amen.

Till he returns, or takes me home

There is a place