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To the Exiles

April 18, 2020

“You are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:9

Day 34. Yesterday, Governor Pritzker announced that schools would remain closed through the end of the school year. This came as a surprise to no one, I’m sure, but it was hard to hear. Don’t get me wrong. I completely support the decision. I don’t see a need to rush to open things back up. Slow and steady wins the race. We can do this. Still, the cry goes up: How long, O Lord?

Our epistle reading tomorrow is 1 Peter 1:3-9. I’m always curious when a few verses are lopped off, so I wondered what’s in verses 1 and 2. Well, this: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood: May grace and peace be yours in abundance.”

To the exiles of the Dispersion.

Sounds like us.

While we have not been exiled to distant lands, we are certainly exiled from one another’s presence. Again: How long, O Lord? But what does Peter write to the exiles? He declares God blessed, and proclaims the gospel, the new birth of a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” An inheritance is something you wait for, but it is also already yours. This doesn’t change, whether you are stuck in Bithynia or at home.

So, exiles, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The gospel has a way of finding you, wherever you are. God is with us, each of us, today. May you feel what Peter calls “an indescribable and glorious joy.”

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of hope, you have promised to be with your people in all times and places. Be with us now. Sit with us in our sorrow, and turn us again to joy. Help us to remember that we are knit into the communion of saints. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The image is San Pedro Apóstol, painted by El Greco between 1610 and 1614 (public domain).

From → COVID-19

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