Sunday, July 15, 2018

Word for the day Christian Education Forum

1 Peter 2:10-12

Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:10)
First Peter has the appearance of being a real letter because of its profuse use of baptismal liturgy. It has been considered as a homily preached on the occasion of baptism. This letter is addressed to the "exiles of the Dispersion" and the "elect." They live in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. The believers to whom Peter writes are clearly undergoing sufferings. They have to face various trials, which test their faith, they are being spoken as evildoers (2:12); enduring pain while suffering unjustly and even they were abused.
Peter in its broad frame speaks about the Church as God's Household. Church as God's Household signifies the consciousness of a "new Israel." For Peter, the Church bearing the new identity of Israel is now the "chosen race", "royal priesthood" and "God's own people." Peter uses the method of rhetoric to empower the people against the terror of empire.
New Identity in Christ: Peter urges the believers to accept the new selfhood they have received through the life of Jesus. The statement, "once you were not a people, but now you are God's people" refers to the transformation that took place in the life of the people through Christ's redemptive act. The people who remained alienated from the throne of grace and the altar of worship have entered into the new fellowship gifted through Jesus Christ. The communion with Jesus Christ has changed their identity to be the chosen people of God. The exiles became the exodus ones and the margins became the martyrs. Participating in the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist marks our new identity in Christ remarkable.
New Witness in Christ: Peter exhorts the people to resist the habits of the empire that has invaded their life. Believers started to imbibe the natures and desires of the time which gave them sensual pleasures. For Peter, the witness of the chosen ones is to remain aloof from the pleasures and to prioritize the agenda of their life in Christ. A faithful engagement with the life of Christ demands us to express the natures and behaviors of the redeemer and liberator. The witness of the chosen ones redefines and reorders the faith and practices of the people of the social world. Witnessing Christ is the way of socializing the Gospel to the secular world.
Our Redeemer God, enable us to realize our identity and witness in the secular world. Amen.
When God chooses you to be a servant don't stoop to be a king.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church