Tuesday of 1st Sunday after Easter – 1 Peter 1:13-25

| April 29, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Pocket Watch - Wikipedia entry on time1 Peter 1:13-25

Yesterday, I lamented the temporal condition in which I find myself: that the fullness of life and glory and joy lie in the future, while I lie here in the burdened present.  But I’m O.K.  I made my peace with it.  By faith, I understand what glory God has in store for us and how that can be united with our suffering below.  By faith, I see the God I cannot see, even now.

But today is a new day, and the second half of 1 Peter is a new day as well.  For while Peter begins in verse 13 to speak again of hope and the grace that is still future at the revelation of Jesus Christ, I realize that even in this life I have nothing to complain about.  I don’t mean that I don’t easily tire and get easily discouraged or bear the weight of my sins.

But time is a two way street for us humans.  I may not yet experience the fullness of the joy and glory of heaven, the fullness of God’s presence, and yet I would be lying if I believed that God has not already been at work in the world and in my life or that I was not already in a better place than when I began.

While my joy and glory, foretold by the apostles and the prophets, is not yet here and I am impoverished by comparison to heaven, it’s also true that the joy and glory of Christ were foretold in the past by the prophets.  And these have already been fulfilled.

I am not only antecedent to the fullness of God in heaven but also subsequent to the coming of the Son of God into the world.  Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world, and yet the millions of humans before His Incarnation did not yet see Him.  They could only dimly look for Him in hope, while for me He has already come and comes every day.

He was indeed foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for me, who through Him believes in God (verses 20-21).  Time is a two-way street after all, and there is not only joy and glory ahead of me but joy and glory behind me, for Jesus came into the world before I did.

In fact, I was so busy worrying about Jesus being revealed in the last time (verse 5), that I didn’t even notice until now that He was manifest in these last times for me.  And these last times themselves of which Peter speaks must have been almost 2000 years before I was born.

How blinding envy and complaining are!  I also didn’t notice that when God raised Jesus from the dead that God gave Him glory, so that my faith and hope would be in God (verse 21).  Here again is glory before me, the glory of the Son, and He who is my glory in heaven and in the future was our glory before I was born and is also my glory in the present.  He is my glory at this moment . . . and this one . . . and this one . . . .

But if I look only at heaven, with envy, I’ll miss the part of heaven (that is God’s presence and glory resulting in joy) that is with me even now.

Through all of this, there is something that precedes me and succeeds me and feeds me.  It is something that occupies all of my time, and yet not enough of it.  It trumpets the promises of God and whispers about His presence.  It is the Word of God which lives and endures forever (verse 23-25).

Do you understand the significance of this?  It means that God is speaking to me.  It means He is speaking to you.  It means that at the Creation, by His Word He was reaching out to me and to you and to all His Creation.  It means that from the Creation He has been revealing Himself to us, showing us who He Is.  From the beginning of my life, He has been speaking and revealing Himself to me.

I don’t have to wait for the future to hear and experience God: He has been speaking to me, calling me to Himself every second of my life, offering a portion of Himself, His glory and His joy to me now.

The funny thing is that while I lust and hunger for the joy of heaven in the future, knowing how wonderful it will be, I don’t hear His Word or come to Him or experience Him that much in this life.  Precisely at the time when I lack Him most and need Him most – now – I look for Him in the future.  He’s there alright – but I’m not!

And here is where the rest of 1 Peter and the call to holiness come into focus.  Since I have a God who is calling to me with His Word and is all around me and has already blessed me and promises me still more if I will come to Him, I need to conduct myself accordingly (verse 17).  I need to conduct myself throughout the time of my stay here in fear, knowing that I was (a past blessing of which I am presently the recipient) redeemed with the precious blood of the Lamb.

Most of all, I need to accept God in the way that He has chosen to come to me, not looking for Him where I cannot hope to find Him (the future, because I’m not there) but here and now, however weakly I see and know Him.  Instead of worrying about the glory and joy that is not yet mine, I will glory and rejoice in that which is already mine.  I will give thanks for what God has already given, which is His Son; I will rejoice and love that which I now experience, which is His Son; and I will hope and have faith in the glory and joy of His presence in heaven, which is His Son.

Prayer:  Father, I thank You that before the foundations of the world You chose Your Son to come to me; I rejoice in Your presence and work through Him in my life today; and I hope in the kingdom You have promised me in heaven.  These things I offer up to You, through Your Son, the eternal Word, Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

Point for Meditation:

1.  Where do you find yourself living most of the time: in the past, the present, or the future?  What might God be trying to tell you about Himself in relation to His creature of time?

2.  Where can You find God today, if only you stopped complaining or worrying or envying? 

Resolution:  I resolve to find one way today in which God is calling and coming to me.  When I have found it, I resolve to give thanks and to rejoice. 

© 2014 Fr. Charles Erlandson

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Category: Give Us This Day

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