Chosen and Destined but Still Exiles!

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 1:1-2

To the exiles of the Dispersion. (v. 1 NRSV)

Today's passage contains a painful dilemma we all know far too well. I am sure you felt it as you read verse 1: “to the exiles . . . who have been chosen and destined . . .” Apparently belonging to the one true God made known to us fully in Jesus Christ is no more a “get of a jail free card” than the whole of the Christian life is a board game like Monopoly. Painful realities such as exile are visited upon God's people. From Joseph in Egypt to Daniel in the lion's den, from Jesus on the cross to John on the island of Patmos, God's “chosen and destined” people have suffered painful things. But they endure through the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus.

Over the next couple of weeks it will be our privilege to look into the mysterious way that God grants grace and peace in the midst of painful exile. As I write, I am carrying in my heart a long list of dear people who have shown me that this is as true today as it was when Peter first wrote these words. As you read, I invite you to carry specific loved ones in your heart as well. If we aren't feeling the need of it keenly at the moment, we surely will at some point in our lives. Let's learn together about the kindness of God to a people in exile!

PRAYER

Give us ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to those in exile.