Reader: “God opposes the proud”
Response: “but gives grace to the humble.”
Scripture: I Peter 5:1-5
And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.
In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
Reader: “The word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
In thinking of the people in the New Testament, along with Paul, Peter is one who had a most interesting, significant transformation. Think of the crash-bang Peter walking on the water, slashing off the ear of a Roman soldier, proclaiming Jesus as the Christ, being called Satan by Jesus, refusing to let Jesus wash jhis feet, being told by Jesus, “It’s none of your business what happens to John,” and being told by Jesus you’ll have an unpleasant death. Peter was all over the place! Then at Pentecost Peter stands up and in true Pentecost fashion, preaches a sermon on the risen Christ challenging the people to repent and 3,000 are converted. Peter becomes a leader in the early church. When you read today’s passage, Peter seems so calm and wise! What happened? If you ever needed evidence that the Holy Spirit transforms people, Peter is your example.
It appears that he is toward the end of his life. There is an element of reflecting on the past in his reference to witnessing the suffering of Christ. He urges the leadership, the elders, to be gracious and humble in leading the people, like shepherds in referring to the congregation as a “flock.” Already, it seems Peter has the end in mind. Twice he mentions sharing in the glory of Christ at the return of Christ. In reading both Peter and Paul’s letters, one cannot but help notice their expectation that the return of Christ would happen shortly, if not in their lifetimes. Their words, as happens here, were always to live life with the Second Coming in mind. Those are good words for all of us who are often so lost in concerns over the pressing events of the days in which we live. Bottom line. Live like an elder, humble, godly, serving God, caring for people, and watching for the return of Christ.. Work on that today and let the Holy Spirit continue to transform you.
Music: “Hear Am I Lord” Nation Youth Choir of Scotland Don’t miss this!
Lord Jesus, many of the people around us never read you. If they have a Bible, it collects dust. So, Lord, make us to be living, in the flesh Bibles, so that those who do not read your Book, can read it in us and find you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ―adapted Chinese woman’s prayer after learning to read, from Eerdmans’ Book of Famous Prayers, p.93, Daniel Sharp