Friday, April 20, 2007

Comments on 1 Peter 2:11-25

1 Peter 2:11-25 Category: Religion and Philosophy
11. Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles (in this world) to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul.
This makes me think of sitting around the campfire with the youth group (at Arlie and Gail's) singing "We are strangers...we are aliens....we are not...of...this world." It made me smile at the time....but it's true. Problems start when we begin to put too much stock in the systems of the world....which as Watchman Nee in his book, "Love not the World" reminds us, are all fading away. They are temporary. Verses like this tend to put things in proper perspective. Remind us to look up....
Verses 12 -17 talk about how to behave ourselves as aliens. Giving respect for authorities and living as exemplary citizens even while knowing we have a higher citizenship. It is easy to think, "This is not taking into consideration, the society we now have and the corruption of leadership..." but in fact it is most likely that Nero was in power at the time this was written. That tells us something. I do think it should be held in balance with verses like Heb. 11:23 where Moses' parents are commended for concealing their baby because, "they were not overawed and terrified by the King's decree." Then there is the example of people like Corrie Ten Boom who became part of the underground....and even Deitrick Bonhoffer....implicated in an assasination plot against Hitler. There are many questions that this could arouse about practical applications, so my idea is that somewhere in there we must deal Christianly within the evil empire without becoming cog in the wheel of evil ourselves. Is there a way to be season and preserve?....or expose...then I think that's our part....(but maybe not throwing a pie in the PM's face...haha)
The next bit is to household servants....all employees probably. But I think we can all relate to the bit about unjust suffering. V 20-21 indicates that we should expect to suffer unjustly, and if we bear it is acceptable and pleasing to God. V 21-23 speaks of the suffering of Christ for our guilt and how it doesn't mean that He suffered INSTEAD of us...but left us an example so that we should suffer like He did. "He made no threats (of vengeance;) but He trusted Himself and everything to Him Who judges fairly." (v23) When it speaks of Him "bearing our sins" (v24) I think it relates to v 23 where we are told to "bear patiently with suffering."
Your children can make choices which you have to adjust your life around if you want to have relationship. For example, you might have to visit them behind prison bars....rather than being invited over to their house for Sunday dinner... it might be different than you had hoped for, but you take relationship on the available terms. (not my children....of them I am well pleased...thrilled even.)
Other people effect our freedoms.....Osama Bin Laden....we all bear the consequenses of his actions in terms of diminished freedoms....getting frisked at the airport....our hairspray and nailfiles confiscated. There might be some truth to the statement of J. Sartre, "Hell is other people..." I'll probably get nailed for quoting that old athiest in my little Bible commentary....haha....because we all know it is our duty to love people like our Father does. Maybe that's the whole idea though....some are easy to love....and some we have to be able to bear their sins in order to love them. V. 24 says that He bore our sins "that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness." I wish I had a really good understanding of this whole issue...I don't...but I think there's more to it than I once understood...if indeed I ever did.
4:13 PM


mamalena said...

Mom - this is so timely... just got back from our trip to BC with six littles in the car, choosing to LOOOOOOVE over the racket - thinking in between emergency potty stops of the increasing incivility of our society. It comes from a heart attitude of selfishness, and selfishness is the hallmark of our times. Thinking, what else can i do to protect my children from other people's "choice" - and realizing that at my best, i still can't protect them as completely as i'd like because of this imperative to love, to build relationship, to be salt and light. The thing is, you don't taste salt unless it's been poured into the stew - you don't appreciate light unless you're in a dark room. So this command to be "in but not of" isn't just a quaint turn of phrase, a clannish circling the wagons - it involves the pain of sacrifice - of our own desires, or our own comfort, and even the comfort of the approbation of our peers. Because in the situations in which we find ourselves most stretched to *be* who the Father is calling us to be is also where we find the least support by others, either in the STEW or in the salt shaker... And i'm guessing He made it this way, knowing that the pain of separating from the good opinion of others only brings us closer to Him, leaves Him as the focus of our search for approval... still hurts...
i wonder if, like in vs 24, we, in bearing (or bearing with) the sins of others - not in approving them, but in struggling to love, to react in a way pleasing to Jesus - help others to die to sin and to live to righteousness... we are called to be small Christs - to be more like Him... not to put more pressure on myself, i guess... but to see an ultimate end, even if it's a hint and i'm wrong in the end, gives meaning to the struggle to overcome my own meanspiritedness, my own selfishness, my own unloving heart...

Posted by stephanie On Friday, April 06, 2007 at 10:50 AM

mamalena said...

Hi Steph,

I consider it an honor to have you respond so thoughtfully to my commentary. Makes me want to continue. I can see that you understand me so well, that it gives me hope that I'm able to make myself understood to someone at least. Anyhow, one thing I wanted to say in response to your comment about putting more pressure on yourself, is that, we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, and yes, he will make us to become like Himself....just as we like to think that our children will grow up to be like (the best of) us. Our part should not put more pressure on us, as it is simply to agree with Jesus' prayer, that God's will should prevail over our own. He is the seed, we are the soil......there's not much for the soil to do in the process, except to allow ourselves to be drawn up into Him. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I'm not sure what the point of kudo's is...haha...but I give you two....=)

Posted by Mamalena On Saturday, April 07, 2007 at 1:10 PM