Lent 2023 Day 33: Fri 31 Mar
1 Peter 1.13-19
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
We will not be able to cover the whole of Peter’s letters this Lent. I recommend that you find the time to sit down with your favourite Bible and a notebook, and meander through the text of the two letters, jotting down thoughts and questions as you go. Imagine yourself as a member of one of the scattered congregations, hearing this for the first time. Read it out loud yourself. You will have made a life-decision to put your faith in Jesus and to become a member of this young church. What’s Peter saying to you? Jot it down!
As we, along with Peter’s listeners, live in the hope of Jesus’ return, how should we be living today? Peter tells us that we have broken with our old ways and are now leading holy lives. Peter picks up God’s words to Moses: Be Holy! Let your life demonstrate who you are and where you are going – that’s holiness in a nutshell. It’s got nothing to do with solemnity, reverence or piety or any of those trappings that are a substitute for the real thing. Holiness is not imposed on you by your priest or pastor, but comes from within.
Living as citizens in this country and in our neighbourhood we have all the same privileges and responsibilities as everyone else, but because we are citizens of the Holy City we are only ever passing through this world – we are transients, foreigners, marching to the beat of a different drum, following another banner, that of the Blood of the Lamb, the most precious gift we have ever been given.
Are there “evil desires” that for you haven’t completely disappeared? Is there a connection with living as obedient children?
Does living as a citizen of two kingdoms ever cause frictions? How do you deal with them?
Is “the blood of the lamb” too visceral a concept for today’s world?
Father God, I pray that you will revive in me those first flushes of joy, excitement, revelation, understanding, whatever they were the moment I claimed Jesus as Lord. I claim his blood not just to cover my sins today, but for my whole life and my future hope. Amen.