Friday, May 22, 2009

40FP(19): 1 Peter 1.3-9

Resuming this Lenten series; hopefully it'll be finished before next Lent!

1 Peter 1.3-9 (from the NLT)
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,
4 and we have a priceless inheritance — an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
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.
8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.
9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

Why is this a favourite passage?
The simple answer is that it was set in our Morning Prayer lectionary for Monday May 11 and was one of many examples at that time of feeling that God was talking directly to me (the fact that the previous day's Gospel lesson was John 15.1-8 was another one). I wouldn't have considered this a favourite passage before that moment; as it is, the message is now engraved on my heart. It has many applications for when people are suffering in all sorts of circumstances; for me, one key part of the reassurance that the passage contains is that these things happen in order for the faith to be shared more widely. God peels away all those things in our lives that are not built from a genuine faith, in order that the more genuine faith can be seen. We are called to trust that vindication will come, in God's good time.

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