A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
a garden locked, a fountain sealed.
Your channel is an orchard of pomegranates
with all choicest fruits,
henna with nard,
nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
with all trees of frankincense,
myrrh and aloes,
with all chief spices—
a garden fountain, a well of living water,
and flowing streams from Lebanon.
Awake, O north wind,
and come, O south wind!
Blow upon my garden
that its fragrance may be wafted abroad.
Let my beloved come to his garden,
and eat its choicest fruits.
(Song of 4:12-16)
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the exiles (παρεπιδήμοις) of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
who have been chosen
by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit
to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood:
May grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Blessed (Εὐλογητὸς) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
By his great mercy he has given us a new birth (ἀναγεννήσας)
into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into (εἰς) an inheritance (κληρονομίαν)
that is imperishable, (ἄφθαρτον) undefiled, (ἀμίαντον) and unfading, (ἀμάραντον)
kept (τετηρημένην) in heaven for you,
who are being protected (τετηρημένην) by the power (δυνάμει) of God
through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith
—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire|
—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now,
you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry,
inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated,
when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you,
in regard to the things that have now been announced to you through those who brought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven
—things into which angels long to look (xπαρακύψαι)!
Therefore prepare your minds for action;
set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.
Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance.
Instead, as he who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written,
‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’
If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds,
live in reverent fear during the time of your exile.
You know that you were ransomed (ἐλυτρώθητε)
from the futile (ματαίας) ways inherited from your ancestors,
not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ,
like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.
He was destined before the foundation of the world,
but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.
Through him you have come to trust in God,
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are set on God.
Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth
so that you have genuine mutual love,
love one another deeply from the heart.
You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed,
through the living and enduring word of God. For
‘All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord endures for ever.’
That word is the good news that was announced to you." (1 Peter 1)
The two short letters of Peter in our Bibles are much neglected these days! Yet they have apostolic authority. I looked up the meaning of several Greek words with depth. Especially striking was the word "kept" τετηρημένην, also translated, "protected." Obviously what one reader of this passage sees as paramount may not match the reactions of his contemporaries. Still "special protection" by God is something every follower of Jesus ought to experience in his journey. A herd mentality is unhelpful when the going gets rough. Is not the God of the Bible intensely personal? Intimate?
‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.
For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone?
Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Luke 7:7-11)
In the Cross
Six Hours in Eternity on The Cross
Real Life Now
How Jesus Saves
The Eightfold Way to Knowing God
The Wedding Psalm (45)
The Call of Heaven
Behold the Messiah
Jesus, Our Great High Priest
Jesus, our Trailblazer
Seek the Things that Are Above
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June 14, 2022