Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
But rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings ,that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed (1 pet 4:12)
As Peter began to follow Jesus, he was not at all optimistic about Christ’s passion and sufferings. But Jesus, the Lord of the church, rebuked Peter and confirmed the message of cross as the way of salvation and redemption. Finally, the misunderstandings of mission were rectified when Peter and Resurrected Jesus encountered at the sea shore of Tiberius. He was commissioned there to "tend my sheep".
Tough times in discipleship are a reality.
Peters letter was written in a tough period due to the severe persecutions operated by the emperor Nero. Peter’s encouragement comes from the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Christians should be bold as their saviour. No deceit comes in His mouth when Jesus was in trials (1 peter.2:22).Trials and sufferings are inherent in the track of discipleship. Followers are called to endure suffering for the righteousness sake, while doing the good things for the kingdom. Jesus says, “the world hated me first, it hates you also” (John.15:18). As Jesus, the disciples be refrained from vengeance. They can transcend the world by Ahimsa or Non-violence. They must rejoice in Jesus as they are being shared the sufferings of Jesus. To align with the status quo is an easy task but as we choose to travel the less travelled roads, challenges are ahead. Transformation comes only when we ready to embrace this mode of prophetic discipleship.
The call to discipleship is a disciplined faith journey
The trials and sufferings equip us to be relevant and authentic in the witnessing process. The hope that every disciple has is nothing but the presence of Jesus in this path of sufferings and pain. The word here used by Peter is "glory" and it can also be translated as "shekhinah of God"-the everlasting presence of Jesus. Today we experience that presence by the presence of Holy Spirit. So do not be nervous or ashamed, but lead a life to glorify God as a disciple with a disciplined life. Being a Christian means to lead a prophetical way of life. The call to discipleship is a graceful and blessed call that extended to eternity. We hear this conviction from Dr.Martin Luther King Jr's speech when he received the Nobel Prize in 1964"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."
Prayer; Our dear Lord, our refuge, fortress and present helper, give your presence to witness you in the cheerful and tougher experiences of life. Amen.
Rev. Sam. T. Panicker, Boston