What customs did we uphold? What practices did we follow? What do we do now? What customs and practices do we follow now in this new place? With this new citizenship? Who’s footsteps do we follow in now? Peter would say Christ’s.
Christ knew what to do because he continually looked towards the Father. He didn’t give into temptation. An example. No deceit in his mouth. An example. We know how much trouble the mouth can get us in. Out of the mouth comes the overflow of the heart. Sadly, it seems like my heart must be troubled indeed if what comes out of my mouth is any indication. When abused, he didn’t return abuse. But we are very quick to return it. We use it as justification. It makes it ok. Sure, I can’t go out and beat people up for the hell of it but if they hurt me, then I get to hurt them back. If someone is attacking me, then I am in my rights to attack them back. Right? If they take an eye, I am owed an eye right back.Maybe it made it ok in our country, in our old nation but it seems to not be a justification now. In fact, instead of returning abuse, Christ did the opposite. He seems to return forgiveness and love. The example. As Christ followed the Father, we follow the example of Christ. We follow his customs in word and deed and point to our loyalty to him.
In Christian culture today, we hear a lot about Peter’s use of Isaiah in this letter. Modern Christianity, at least, some very vocal parts of it, love to tell us that “By his wounds we are healed”. Somehow this is supposed to mean that we are never to have disease or sickness and that we should all have fat bank statements and healthy retirement accounts. But it’s hard to get that from Peter if we take that verse in any kind of context at all. It seems to me that Peter is reiterating that Christ healed us spiritually by the bearing of our sins. Now that I am all for. But he also seems to tying it to the necessity of suffering. I don’t like that as much.
We all want to have pain free lives but what would that really mean for us? We like being heirs with Christ and heirs to all the goodies but Romans tells us that we are indeed heirs with him, we will suffer. Yikes. Christ himself tells us that if everything is going right for us, watch out. Woe to us because the world treated the false prophets well. If they are nice to us, if the enemy is kind, then woe to us.
I don’t think God wants us to suffer but he seems to understand that it’s just a matter of reality in this broken and flawed world.
This isn’t in most of the information guides on Christianity. If this was in the brochure, would we have less people wanting to the heirs?
Do we cling to any of our old customs? Any old practices? Do we have any new ones that we need to embrace?