Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
BE EXAMPLES BY SERVING OTHERS
1 Peter 5: 1-11
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1Peter 5:10)Peter's first letter was addressed to the Christians in a specific historical area, i.e., the five provinces of Asia Minor .The addressees were a diaspora group, because of the state powered persecutions. With humility and love Peter introduced himself to be a fellow presbyter and witness of the sufferings of Jesus. Peter did not claim any ecclesiastical title except the co- worker of Christ. Here we could see the potential change in the life & work of Peter, after the resurrection and commissioning episode at the sea of Tiberius. So the exhortation itself encourages fellow believers. The reward of suffering would be the eternal glory and the unfading crown. Believers’ life would be an example as Jesus Christ.
CONSCIOUSNESS OF CHRIST’S SUFFERING MAKES US MORE HUMBLE
Jesus had tolerated a lot for the whole world. Non-violence was his tool. The communion with the divine, that strengthened Jesus. Jesus himself warned that, there would be suffering to his followers. But it will be transcended by the sustaining faith in Christ. The cultural or religious minorities are under threat in several parts of the world. Mostly the state is against the weak & aliens. But the church would be with weak and the less privileged. The servant image compliments the theology of suffering. The mysteries of suffering are to be reveled to those who humble themselves under the mighty hands of God.
PARTAKERS OF CHRIST’S SUFFERING WILL BE REWARDED.
The maturity of faith is sharpened only through sufferings & trials. The wild nature of the empire is depicted by the analogy of a roaring lion. The followers of Christ are to be vigilant, sober and steadfast in faith. The power of Christ is revealed on his cross and resurrection will help the believers to withstand against any oppressive forces. To whom with the church stand? Who will speak for the voiceless and crushed? To participate in Christ suffering is a graceful call. Unity of the congregation and obedience to the leader are important in the witnessing process. The order of the laity and priesthood comprises the flock of God, where Jesus Christ is the Great shepherd. Faithful witnessing of the church by its members will be rewarded.
Prayer: O Lord, grant us your power to serve others by partaking the suffering of the master.
Rev. Sam T Panicker, Boston