Phil 2: 1-11, Matthew 2: 1-12. Has your journey through this Christmas season happened with the right motivation, expectation and response? Herod sent the Magi in search of Jesus with them believing that their purpose was to enable Herod to find the way to the new-born King so that he could bow down to worship […]
Key verse: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3a)
As we move from reimagining how we can readily share faith with those on our “frontlines” – those people we naturally connect with through the things that we do every day – our strong focus as we look ahead towards Christmas needs to be on Jesus. He is the one through whom we can embrace living hope!
Yet, for so many people just at the moment, being able to see and embrace a sense of hope has been masked by the last few months of challenge, separation, and suffering caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. How, then, can we still positively talk up and demonstrate our “living hope”, our undeterred and unstoppable daily living out our hope as Christians?
1 Peter may well be a short book in the Bible but it’s packed full of encouragements to keep focused on “the way of Jesus” as its readers grow in their trust in God and persevering in ways of Christlikeness at all times, including times of challenge and suffering. Peter’s strong purpose is to point us towards all that God has done for us through Christ, then showing us how we can apply that in our daily lives. 2 Peter and Jude are even shorter books of the Bible but in different ways they add to 1 Peter, so be encouraged to read the whole of all three books at some point over the coming weeks.
As we reach Advent and the Christmas season, our focus will naturally be on Jesus, but at the same time we will be holding to some of the key texts from 1 Peter and linking them into the familiar passages in Luke of the promise and birth of Jesus. That will enable to keep going deeper with all that 1 Peter teaches us about applying “the way of Jesus” in our own lives and daily routines.
Isaiah 9:2-8, Luke 2:1-20. “Today, you will find Him and so find your hope”. That was the message of the Angel of the Lord to the shepherds (slightly paraphrased!). It’s a message we need to hear, be transformed by and responded to in the midst of our Christmas celebrations.
Isaiah 42:1-17. Pause and be still for long enough to notice that during our Advent studies the word “expectation” has come up each week, and each time we have asked ourselves a question: “Are we expecting to meet with Jesus and be transformed by Him this Christmas time?”. “Are we ready and willing to live […]
Luke 1:57-80, 1 Peter 3:15-16. When Elizabeth first stated that her child would be called John, it wasn’t expected because it broke with the traditions and customs of the time. Those who had gathered at the naming ceremony turned to John who had been unable to speak since the angel of the Lord had met with […]
Luke 1:26-56. 1 Peter 2:4-5 “Meanwhile, back in Nazareth….” Following on from Zechariah’s place in the birth narratives, and with expectation building, we come to a reminder of an Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) that is responded to with praise, despite the less than ideal circumstances. In 1 Peter 2:4-5 rejection is included, but so is […]
Luke 1:1-25, 1 Peter 1:10-12. We often start thinking about our Advent journey with the angel appearing to Mary, but there is so much that happened before that! In 1 Peter 1:10 we noticed the comments about “the prophets who spoke of the grace that was to come”. Peter did that to enable his readers to […]
1 Peter 5: 1-14. Peter’s final encouragement is given to the church. This is about the importance of the way of the church following the way of Jesus in all of its relationships with each other, and how that’s lived out in the wider world. The strong encouragement is to unity and humility regardless of […]
1 Peter 3:8-22. The first word of 1 Peter 3:8 suggests at first sight that he is drawing to a close, but he still has plenty more to say yet! Here, the “finally” is more of a conclusion to Peter’s encouragement to us individually to live the Christian life well, before he brings us back […]
1 Peter 2:11 to 3:7. Peter is very focused in this section on outwardly visible and transforming glory. That begins with the call for us to live “good lives”, especially when we are with unbelievers so that they will be drawn to faith by the ways that they can see God’s people living. He then […]
1 Peter 2:4-10. The reference Peter makes to “living stones” in these verses is believed by some commentators to link back to the words of Jesus to Peter in Matthew 16:18: “you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church”. The imagery used is intended to highlight something that has strength from […]