1 Peter 3:13-22

© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

I find this text

strange, awkward, and

legalistically unintelligible reading,

to say the least…

Baptism saves us?

Dirt from the flesh?

Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts?

Concepts I’ve never actually fully understood.

1st century, Greco-Roman- Near-Eastern metaphors at their finest.

So many ministers,



base their understandings

of God

on these

and other arcane notions of


they think God works.

Still, re-reading,

there is wisdom in this text.

We are given insights

into the struggle

of the early church

that relate to our own time.

We have had people

try to intimidate us

because we believe

differently than they.

Many of us

have been made to feel afraid

because of

something we have spoken out

against —

racism, homophobia, economic justice.

Try speaking in favor of

love over hate, or

the overwhelming power

of a peaceful heart

in a conversation justifying


and war and violence

at any cost.

Interspersed with the

obscure theological concepts

is a strong message of blessing.

While it is never a good thing to suffer,

we are told that if

it is to happen

it is better to suffer for

doing good than for

doing bad.

The point

being that there is blessing in the one

and only suffering in the other.

The writer of this text offers blessing and hope,

but in ways hard to grasp by 21st century minds,

Yet for us,

what is it that offers us courage

in our own time?

Where do we find our strength

in our own time?

How does God/Christ/Jesus/Spirit

bless us

as we proclaim the love of Jesus to our world?

Do we proclaim

the love of Jesus

to our world?


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