Sustained by God’s Word of Hope
1 Peter 1:1-25: This letter was most likely written to Christians scattered across northern Asia Minor. It was written to encourage these Christians who may have been facing persecution and suffering for their faith. In today’s reading, believers are reminded that God has chosen them, and they are encouraged to live holy lives and to be filled with a living hope because of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead.
Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope.
1From Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ—
To God's chosen people who live as refugees scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.2You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood.
May grace and peace be yours in full measure.
3Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope,4 and so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away.5They are for you, who through faith are kept safe by God's power for the salvation which is ready to be revealed at the end of time.
6Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer.7 Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.8You love him, although you have not seen him, and you believe in him, although you do not now see him. So you rejoice with a great and glorious joy which words cannot express,9because you are receiving the salvation of your souls, which is the purpose of your faith in him.
10It was concerning this salvation that the prophets made careful search and investigation, and they prophesied about this gift which God would give you.11They tried to find out when the time would be and how it would come. This was the time to which Christ's Spirit in them was pointing, in predicting the sufferings that Christ would have to endure and the glory that would follow.12God revealed to these prophets that their work was not for their own benefit, but for yours, as they spoke about those things which you have now heard from the messengers who announced the Good News by the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. These are things which even the angels would like to understand.
13So then, have your minds ready for action. Keep alert and set your hope completely on the blessing which will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.14Be obedient to God, and do not allow your lives to be shaped by those desires you had when you were still ignorant.15Instead, be holy in all that you do, just as God who called you is holy.16 The scripture says, “Be holy because I am holy.”
17You call him Father, when you pray to God, who judges all people by the same standard, according to what each one has done; so then, spend the rest of your lives here on earth in reverence for him.18For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold;19it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw.20He had been chosen by God before the creation of the world and was revealed in these last days for your sake.21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from death and gave him glory; and so your faith and hope are fixed on God.
22Now that by your obedience to the truth you have purified yourselves and have come to have a sincere love for other believers, love one another earnestly with all your heart.23For through the living and eternal word of God you have been born again as the children of a parent who is immortal, not mortal.24 As the scripture says,
“All human beings are like grass,
and all their glory is like wild flowers.
The grass withers, and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
This word is the Good News that was proclaimed to you.
This passage offers assurance of God’s saving love and encourages believers to live as God’s holy people, even in the face of suffering. Are there situations that make it difficult for you to live faithfully? How does God provide you with hope in times of trial? In what ways does your life exhibit a “living hope” because of Jesus’s resurrection?
Holy, gracious, and merciful God, even in times of challenge and suffering, you call me to live as your faithful disciple. Fill me with a living hope and strengthen my spirit, O Lord, that I may ever trust in you and proclaim the Good News of your love and salvation. Amen.
Those facing religious persecution
1 Peter 2:1-25: God’s people are called to be “living stones” and a holy nation.