Lectionary Year A
May 12, 2002
1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11
(JFC) A. GENRE
These two paragraphs, as the NRSV presents them, bring caution and
encouragement to those they addresses. The author(s) seem to have great
sympathy with those they write. They identify with the troubles,
temptations, threats, sufferings their addressees must have or might
eventually have. These paragraphs are quite theological; they declare
God's goodness and Christ's passion and glory. Several imperatives appear
to lead the recipients of these lines into and through their faith
development. Compassion, conviction, and sensitivity are all couched in a
theme of love and understanding. Grammatical complexity formats these
paragraphs as it does all of 1 Peter. The image of the roaring lion in 5:8
might prove as necessary as the seemingly intrusion of Jesus' descending
into the underworld and Noah building the ark did in 3:19f.
(JFC) PERSONAL INTERACTION
* How can one be not surprised at a fiery ordeal taking place?
* Why do
testing? Who grades the papers?
* Is rejoicing really possible, let alone
recommended, in suffering and that with Christ?
* Do adversaries really
prowl around looking to devour the righteous, then as now?
* My brothers and
sisters in many, too many, other parts of the kosmos suffer far in excess
of any suffering I ever endure. If I never suffer, will God ever restore,
support, strengthen and establish me?
* Did first and/or second century
Christians read/hear these sentences and sentiments with increasing hope,
* No question, we, here and now, today, ascribe power and even
glory, too, to God. Did first and/or second century Christians? Maybe not
enough of the latter, just as not enough of the former.
(JFC) C. ORGANIZATION
While the whole of 1 Peter seems to be a catechism for infantile
week's passage might have a thesis, antithesis, synthesis approach. The
thesis is God's care and Christ's passion. The antithesis is humans'
tendencies to be surprised, to evaluate realities as "strange", to suffer
anxieties, though only for a brief period. The synthesis is in gladness
and shouts of joy, getting restored, supported, strengthened and
established - all by God, whom we grant dominion. That might preach. So,
so far it seems to be a matter of application for this preacher.
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