Ready for Action

Jon Opgenorth

Read: 1 Peter 1:13-21 Your faith and hope are in God. (v. 21) I was never much for fishing but did enjoy going out on Lake Michigan with my friend Todd after a day of school. My presence allowed him two extra lines in the water. When a line near me twitched with a bite he’d yell, “Set the hook! Set the hook!” He didn’t want the “big one” to get away, so I’d grab the pole and yank as …

Inexpressible

Jon Opgenorth

Read: 1 Peter 1:3-12 Born again to a living hope . . . (v. 3) Last February, I had the privilege of meeting with a group of believers from Iran. Seven received baptism. For all of them, our worship times provided the one time in the year when they could sing aloud their praises to Jesus. The joy in their smiles fueled my soul as I waded through the coming months of uncertainty that came with the COVID-19 crisis. Peter …

Who We Are

Jon Opgenorth

Read: 1 Peter 1:1-2 Elect exiles of the Dispersion . . . (v. 1) Writing from Rome three decades after Jesus rose, Peter told us who we are, how we got here, and where we are going. The first recipients of his letter were spread throughout modern-day Turkey. The times pulsated with anxious uncertainty as Nero’s reign of terror was about to be unleashed. In our own unprecedented times of pandemic and unrest, I pray this letter finds us eager …

God Restores

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Psalm 107:39-43 He raises up the needy out of affliction. (v. 41) During my 80 days of working from home last spring, I began using ancient prayers to frame my days. A repeated refrain from the Book of Common Prayer asks, “Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor taken away.” I began to pay attention to this theme in Scripture. Verse 41 promises that God “raises up the needy,” which answers cries …

Keep Movin’

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Psalm 107:33-38 They sow fields and plant vineyards. (v. 37) The people of this psalm had been exiles. God judged Judah for unfaithfulness to him and injustice towards the poor. In faithfulness to his covenant with his people, he reversed their fortunes because of their sin. They questioned how to live in this unexpected situation. Should they just wait for God to set them free? The false prophet Hananiah thought so: “Within two years I will bring back . …

At Our Wits’ End

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Psalm 107:23-32 He made the storm be still. (v. 29) The sailors in today’s passage are at their wits’ end (v. 27). Life was going according to plan, even smooth sailing. Then, out of the blue, a storm tossed their boat to and fro, and the sailors were knocked to their knees. We are so similar, going about our business, even nobly advancing godly causes, but when a crisis comes, we are left helplessly wondering what comes next. Today …