1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. 1 Peter 1:1-2
More and more, Christians have become “aliens scattered.” The perception was different in the early 1960s, when I’d say 90% of the families on my street went off to church on Sunday morning. In the present hostile environment, a word of encouragement from Peter is welcomed more than ever. Our society has become an intolerant angry mob when it comes to all things Christian, instantly shouting down every righteous notion via the public cesspool called Twitter, most obviously evident in the vile portrayal of Billy Graham by one TV commentator at his death. I imagine Rome was no better, and all the cities to which this letter came as a cup of cool water and cold compress to the head.
We’ve been chosen for this type of ostritization, but we’ve been empowered to survive the siege. We’ve been given God’s grace and peace “in fullest measure,” and who better to encourage us than someone who dramatically experienced the sprinkled blood of Jesus, and publically underwent the “sanctifying work of the Spirit.” We need heroes like Peter as models as we choose not to huddle underground, but to act as “living stones” in a crumbling evil world. We need someone credible to remind us that we’re protected by “the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1:5)