Continuing an intended long look through 1 Peter, I'm still in verse 1. Yep. 3 weeks, and I'm still commenting on the first verse. I've read more, but I'm still here. Partly because the SBC had a negative impact on my blogging time. Well, the SBC and the 16-hour road trip to get there. So, 1 Peter 1:1-2:
1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen
2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and besprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
Three words stood out to me:
1. Reside: I started thinking of the time I spent living "in residence" in college. The train of thought moved on to that time in medical school called "residency." Both evoke the idea of someone living, working, and studying in a place not their home. That their is a defined time and purpose that one is somewhere, and when it is completed, you go home. Not a return to your home of origin, but your home of destination. Home for me is no longer where I left to attend college, rather it's where I am.
2. Scattered: First thought: hash browns at the Waffle House. Seriously. Then, on to spices and seasonings in food. Perhaps propaganda agents in enemy territory or lights across a field. Scattered: you can have your hash browns at Waffle House scattered, instead of in the big greasy mass they are cooked in. This allows for flavors to be added, and for the grease to subside (not much, but just enough). Meanwhile, you scattered salt across fries, but you don't eat it straight up (at least you shouldn't). If you sought to spread the truth of God's love (or even a lesser truth) into North Korea, you'd spread out your people, and it takes less power to light a room from multiple sources than to cluster the light in one place. Scattering may distance us from those who are like minded, but it gives us more impact. And, like the hash browns, it opens us up to receive flavor and impact from other sources.
3. Chosen: We are chosen in Christ. We'll not hash and rehash all the ins-and-outs of Calvinism and predestination. Suffice it to say that here in Scripture is an expression that followers of Christ are chosen by God. Recognize that there exist other Scriptures that explain this choice is consistent with justice and the free agency of man. The point is this: I've been selected to do something. It is not my place to argue my own qualifications or abilities. If I were incompetent for the task, I would not have been chosen to do it. If I were not being made capable, I would not have been chosen to do it. (note, I'll not use "elected" here. We elect incompetent people all the time in America.) Now, am I able on my own? Nonsense. I'm able by the power of Christ.
Now, we're residing, scattered, and chosen. What are we doing about it?