“How do you like being called “peculiar”? The Bible means it both as a compliment and as a description of who we are now.”
Hello Gloria Dei,
Our readings for this week, as we continue our yearlong study of the New Testament, are the short books of 1st and 2nd Peter, and Jude. These may be a bit unfamiliar to you. I encourage you to take the time to read them, maybe even twice through.
1 Peter lets us know that while we cherish this life and are so grateful for it, we are temporary residents of this world. Peter uses words like “foreigner, exile, and stranger” to describe us. He goes on to say that as Christians, we are to live and act differently than others.
Think about the teachings of Jesus, for example. If someone harms or insults us, Jesus teaches us not to act out of revenge, but to act out of forgiveness and compassion. In addition, the world may tell us that we are the center of the universe and so we are to live with only ourselves in mind. In contrast, Jesus teaches that we are to love and serve others. He says to do good to those who hate us; and pray for those who persecute us.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, called out of darkness into light, in order to proclaim the mighty acts of God.”
In the King James Version of the Bible, this verse refers to us as “peculiar people.” How do you like being called “peculiar”? The Bible means it both as a compliment and as a description of who we are now. Having been saved by the grace of God in Jesus, we live out that Good News in our lives.
Peter goes on to say that because we live and act differently, we may experience suffering. The people to whom Peter originally writes this letter are suffering under the Roman government, many times because they refused to go along with the culture, which said to worship the emperor as a god. Peter calls them to be different, to be peculiar. It is our calling too, even if it means suffering for Jesus.
This weekend in worship we have the privilege of installing our new Executive Pastor, Heidi Binstock. This is a way to formalize the call from you, the congregation, to Pastor Heidi. Presiding over the service of installation will be Pastor Jonathan Steiner, Associate to the Bishop in our South Dakota Synod of the ELCA. Pastor Jonathan will be preaching at all three weekend services as well.
I encourage and invite all of you to be present for this special day.
See you in worship,