Thursday, January 27, 2022

1 Peter 2:4-6

1 Peter 2:4-6 

  If you've ever built something, you know how critical it is to have the right pieces.  If you're starting off with pieces that are cut wrong, then you'll never get back to even.  It's like doing a puzzle where half the pieces are from the wrong puzzle.  In this case, what God does is even more impressive, because God is working with living stones, which tend to shift around, but God is able to work this into something marvelous, something magnificent, despite our common habit of shifting out of place.  
 Jesus was rejected because the Pharisees were focused on building a house based on their design, not God's, so they were looking for the wrong pieces.  In the same way, when you face rejection in this life, may you find comfort in the knowledge that God has chosen you, that God favors you, and that God's love will eternally surround you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

1 Peter 2:1-3

1 Peter 2:1-3

  It's a long time before a baby is able to eat anything solid, and when they do, they start with things that dissolve in their mouths, or applesauce, or porridge (the stuff our kids tried tastes terrible.  I don't blame them for not liking it).  They don't have the strength to chew and choking is an issue, so they start with the absolute basics.
  The same is true for our spiritual lives.  We have to start with the basics.  Maybe it's out of pride, but we often want to skip to the more advanced parts, thinking we should be beyond the basics, and so sometimes we avoid asking basic questions or studying basic things.  It's so important that we handle the basics first to make sure we are grounded in a solid understanding of faith, and only then do we move on.  Let us start with pure milk, only growing from there as the Holy Spirit leads us forward in faith!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

   What would you give up for the thing you want most in life?

  In Addie LaRue's life, she was willing to give up her soul to be free.  

  Only in this case, to be free meant that no one could ever remember her.  She went through life as a shadow, passing across people and places but never lingering, leaving little more than a temporary impression of her presence.  She had no ability to build relationships and was unable to carry anything with her.  She was free, yet at great price.

  V.E. Schwab writes an intriguing tale in The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and it leaves one thinking about the things in life that you'd give anything for.  Maybe it was freedom, or young love, or money.  As you age, you often look back and realize that such a thing wasn't worth the hours you spent pining for it.  It reminds me of the old Garth Brooks song Unanswered Prayers, where he reflects upon how hard he prayed for a relationship that didn't work out, and how things have turned out just fine, despite thinking at one point that the world might end of such a prayer wasn't answered.

  This book reminds me not to get too hung up on worldly hopes, and to be careful what I wish for.  Sometimes, the things we think might solve all our problems only end up creating more problems!  Sadly, such is the fate of too many lottery winners.  We're occasionally better off not getting what we want.

1 Peter 1:22-25

1 Peter 1:22-25 

  There are things in this world that are way too complicated.  I remember when I was younger, the alternator on our car went out.  I went to YouTube and watched a video about how to replace it on your own, and feeling empowered, I went down to the garage and opened the hood.  The alternator was visible, but to reach it required arms that bent in an extra three places, and even if I could get to it, I didn't know how I would turn the wrench to release the bolts holding it on.  Reality was way more complicated than I thought it was going to be.
  I think we sometimes make Christianity more complicated than it needs to be.  At least I often do.  The Bible has so much in it and I can feel guilty if I leave anything out, so I try and pack everything in, when 1 Peter tells us here that the simple message is to love one another earnestly.  That's step 1.  And when we're done with that, repeat.
  In every situation, if we ask ourselves what the most loving thing to do is, that probably won't steer us wrong.  It'll likely lead us closer to Christ, and closer to one another.