A new kind of reading…
Congratulations! You just finished Luke and Acts, and are now on to a different kind of reading: a letter. Today kicks off Peter’s first letter that has survived to us. It is an absolutely wonderful letter, written to encourage the faith and witness of a series of churches in the first century, and to testify to the true grace of God (5:12). We could use a little bit of that today. Am I right? Watch the video above from the Bible Project to gain a lot of great insight, context, and an overview of the letter. Their videos are really well done and super helpful.
I love this letter. I’m so glad Peter wrote it and it survived in our New Testament. The content is amazing, it has some of the most wonderful truths that we have to hear and come to know in the depths of our souls (check out verses 3-9 of chapter 1…well, you’ll read them today!), and it provides us with a radiant image of what we’re for as the church.
The real reason I love it, though, is because of who wrote it: Peter.
Remember from the Gospel of Luke readings, Peter is the guy who wants to follow Jesus closely, wants to be the right person among Jesus’ guys, but can’t seem to get out of his own way. His foot frequently finds its place in his own mouth. He’s also the guy who promises never to deny Jesus, to never turn his back on Jesus, and hours later, denies him three times, turns his back on him and runs away in shame, guilt, and despair – weeping “bitterly” (Luke 22:62).
It is the same Peter who, after Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus forgives, restores, and reinstates to be the leader of Jesus’ new movement on earth: the church.
Peter’s story is a testimony to the radical calling, forgiveness, and grace of God found in Jesus Christ.
It is a testimony to the fact that no matter how we’ve turned our back on Jesus, he doesn’t turn his back on us – and in fact – he seeks us out to forgive us and call us to serve him again.