Daunting and serious words from Peter, especially for our adult and adolescent confirmands. They know the faith; now they are invited to live in it, be it a fiery trial, as it were. Each day it becomes more difficult to live our faith safely and to worship God freely - our culture is ever less aligned with Christianity.
We are indeed in the world, but not of it. For this we suffer - we are to rejoice as we share in Christ's sufferings. (!) Why? Answer: It shows that we bear Christ's name on our hearts. Also rejoice when His glory is revealed. We are clothed in Christ's righteousness as with white robes. The confirmands are in white today to remind.
However, Peter warns, let us not suffer for doing evil. Example: we meddle in our own business (instead of letting God run our lives) and in others'. We are all evildoers. Nothing of our own is worthy to be offered to Christ. Instead, confess and be forgiven.
Judgment has begun at the household of God. Christ is returning! Our judgment: "I love you. You are judged forgiven and innocent." Suffer gloriously as a brother/sister of Christ. Entrust your soul to the faithful Creator because without Him nothing exists. Do some good through Him - turn the other cheek, humble yourself before God, don't mind giving your cloak away. Cast all your cares on God's infinitely large and strong shoulders. Be vigilant, for Satan prowls. Remain strong in the faith; let Christ dwell in you richly.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Easter 7 (Confirmation)
Readings: Psalm 117, Acts 1:12-26, John 17:1-11, and 1 Peter 4:12-19, 5:6-11 (sermon text).