Be Prepared

Jon Opgenorth

Read: 1 Peter 3:8-17 A reason for the hope that is in you . . . (v. 15) “Be Prepared” is the Boy Scout motto etched into me and everyone who ever attended a Boy Scout meeting. It applied to both mind and body, so we would know the right thing to do at the right time, and act with courage and strength. We earned “badges” in activities like knot tying, cold-weather survival, and citizenship—all with an aim to face …

Wives and Husbands

Jon Opgenorth

Read: 1 Peter 3:1-7 Heirs with you of the grace of life . . . (v. 7) Storyteller Garrison Keillor describes the fictional town of Lake Wobegon as a place where “All the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” I wonder how women feel when Peter calls them “the weaker vessel” (v. 7). I wouldn’t describe my wife, daughters, or daughter-in-law as “weaker.” This passage can feel out of place in …

Dealing with Injustice

Jon Opgenorth

Read: 1 Peter 2:18-25 Because Christ also suffered for you . . . (v. 21) Most of us can, if we are treated unjustly at work, look for another job, or, in the case of grave injustice, seek recourse from the courts. This is a luxury many people in our world do not experience. And almost everyone in Peter’s world could identify with injustice in their day-to-day life, with up to a third of the population living in some form …

Goodness Matters

Jon Opgenorth

Read: 1 Peter 2:11-17 Fear God. Honor the emperor. (v. 17) People in the United States have just come through a bitter and divisive presidential election. Pastors lead in prayer for whoever is now president, keeping in mind these words in 1 Peter 2, along with Paul’s instruction to pray “for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Tim. 2:2). However, my experience is that many Christians have a hard time honoring these texts when the person they …

Unfrozen

Jon Opgenorth

Read: 1 Peter 2:4-10 That you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you. (v. 9) When I was growing up, we sometimes, with tongue in cheek, called Dutch people the “Frozen Chosen.” This expression is rooted in both an overemphasis of verse 9, which describes believers as being chosen, and a view that the Dutch can be rather stoic, as if there was nothing more to do until the sweet by-and-by of heaven. This is not biblical. Believers …

Loved People Love

Jon Opgenorth

Read: 1 Peter 1:22–2:3 This word is the good news. (v. 26) Last year brought out some of the worst in our human relationships. People pointed fingers of blame over a pandemic. Racial tensions reached a tipping point. There were even fights over face masks. In such turbulent times, “Love one another earnestly from a pure heart” (v. 23) looks improbable. That kind of love can only be offered by people who first know they are so loved by God. …