Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday Thoughts on I Peter

The Christmas season seems more contiguous than Easter. You can spend the whole month building up to the big day. Whereas before Easter the joy of Easter coming is always tempered by the knowledge that Good Friday must come first.

If we were the ones having the baby we might see Christmas differently. I'm sure like any new mother, Mary's anticipation of holding her new son was tempered by her anxiety over the suffering she would endure first. Joy comes not in spite of suffering, but because of suffering.

In his first epistle, Peter applies this theme to us. The book has the feeling of a general's speech before battle. Gear up for action, men. Prepare to take some hits. But Peter takes it beyond the merely human response to trouble.

There are two human ways to respond when we are treated unjustly. One is to fight back, which at least does something about the injustice, but so often we overdo and trigger a reaction and injustice piles upon injustice beyond all human remedy. Or we can suffer in silence, but while this may be good for our souls it does little to set the world aright.

Here, indeed, we need Divine intervention. Only God could find a way to set us right both within and without. Through Christ's suffering, He restored all things. Christ did not just endure, he overcame.

Now, Peter says, we too can suffer like that. Not just a stoic endurance of what cannot be helped. Suffering that is itself a power. Meekness that wins the battle. Kindness that conquers.

Whatever small injustices we have to face let us participate in the one Great Injustice, when God took the sins of man. As we receive the grace to face curses with blessing, hardships with joy, we see from within the power of that last moment when God suffered death and defeated death forever.

1 comment:

New Mommy said...

Beautifully put. Have a wonderful Easter!