Tuesday, April 16, 2013

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble

1Pe 5:1-11  Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it--not for sordid gain but eagerly. Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock.  And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away.  In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.  Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.  And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

This letter was written at a time that Christians in Rome were suffering great persecution. The Emperor Nero had accused them of starting a fire in Rome.[1] This letter, written from a Roman context of suffering[2], seeks to give courage to all who suffer everywhere, and remind them that “Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.”[3]

Today is a day for us to remember those who suffer. Some scenes that immediately come to mind are the victims of the bomb explosion in Boston yesterday; those who are suffering because of thesuicide commando that went on the rampage in the main court complex in Mogadishu on Sunday, and the 17 civilians killed in Afghanistan by Unites States airstrike on 6 April.

Lord in your mercy – Hear our Prayer.  



Fourth  Sunday of Easter
The Good Shepherd
Scripture reading taken from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.160


[1] History has concluded that the Emperor Nero set that fire in order that he might clear away the ramshackle buildings of Rome and give him room for new construction.
[2] Peter says he wrote it from Babylon (5:13). Most scholars agree that he referring to Rome.
[3] 1 Peter 5:10.

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