February 4, 2022
1 Peter 1:1b NIV
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
To God’s ELECT . . .
Who is this?
Reviewing. . .
The elect are all those who have chosen to entrust their whole lives to Jesus Messiah, come what may, and who are receiving the gift of Eternal Life, now (in firstfruits), in the future (in completion) and forever (in glory).
Exiles is our mindset and mentality. We have a home in this world but we do not make ourselves “at home” in this world. We are on pilgrimage—pillars of Light in the midst of chaotic darkness. We are not mad at the world. We are in love with Jesus—which means we are willing to suffer with Jesus for the sake of the world. Now to this third descriptor. . .
This is where it gets really interesting. The Greek term behind the English translation is Diaspora. “Dia” means through. “Spora” means to sow, as in seed. Diaspora literally means “to thoroughly sow seeds widely.” You can only imagine the happy dance I am doing at this brand new discovery for me. ;0)
Now, the word “diaspora” gets used figuratively in the New Testament to reference the Jews who are dispersed or scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Peter, in his letter, brings Gentile Christians into his use of the term. He is not trying to Judaize them (make them become Jewish) but rather to catechize them. He is teaching these Gentile Christians the bigger story into which they have been grafted—incorporated through baptism. Peter is telling them the family story of Abraham and thereby the whole story of God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—Genesis to Revelation. I want you to take seven minutes sometime today and watch this (especially if you took our How to Read the Bible Better Class).
Us Gentiles tend to be remarkably unaware of our big story. It’s like this. Imagine you started watching Downton Abbey at season 5. The story pulled you in and you were hooked. What’s the first thing you must do? Exactly! You go back and watch seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4.
In similar fashion, we Gentiles, exiles scattered all over the world, enter the story in its present season, Season 5, which is Church. The problem is most of us don’t go back to watch season 1—Creation, Season 2—Fall, and Season 3—Israel. We pick it up at Season 4—Jesus. You see, if we can’t remember the story, we can’t imagine the future. It will just become about my story and my future, which will have little to do with exiled and scattered and sowing the Kingdom. Sure, we have some sense of the Cliff-Notes, but we make it up from there. It’s a little bit of Christendom mixed in with the American Dream and a little Jesus dust sprinkled on top with a side of hash browns—scattered, smothered, covered, and chunked. :0) It winds up looking like someone else’s version of your best life now.
This is why Peter’s letter is so important. He wants us to understand who we are, where we are, and what we are doing here. He is orienting us. You are God’s Elect. You are in Exile. You are Scattered. And though it feel like you are losing, you are winning. Peter is giving us a game plan. It is quite non conventional, counter intuitive in almost every way. Jesus is Lord—crucified, risen and returning. He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. And though we be scattered, we must find each other and encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today. This is not easy, but when we find our place in it it becomes the most meaningful, satisfying life on the planet.
It’s why I keep saying,
Wake up sleeper, and rise from the dead . . .
We will make the shift from scattered to sowing tomorrow.
Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. We are God’s elect, exiles, scattered, and sowing. More of you Jesus. Less of who we used to be, more of who you are making us to be. Open this letter up to us and us to this letter. Reveal yourself, your Kingdom, our identity and our place in it. Thank you for Peter. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.
So how do you like your hash browns at Waffle House? Just kidding—seriously, do you get what I am saying about not knowing the big story and the connection to not being able to imagine the big future?
For the Awakening,