+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading – 1 Peter 2:11-25 (NLT)
Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.
You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect and do good. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
- He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.
- He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
- He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
- He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
Respect everyone and do what’s right.
God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you.
He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
– 1 Peter 2:21 –
The knowledge that we do not belong to this world does not lead to withdrawal, but to our taking our standards of behavior, not from the culture in which we live, but from our home culture of heaven. Our lives are to be shaped by our permanent home in heaven, rather than our temporary lodging in this world.
Inevitably, however, the two cultures will clash and, if we are faithful to our heavenly calling, we will suffer for it in one way or another. It’s in the midst of this war against our souls that Peter urges us to follow the example of Jesus, who respected authority and suffered for doing what was right.
Questions for consideration:
- Think of some of the authorities in your life – church, family, civil, business? How would you assess them? Are they “governing” in a godly or worldly manner? Please explain.
- Which of these authorities do you most readily respect? Least respect? Please explain.
- As you review the example of Jesus in responding to unjust suffering, which one(s) speak to you and your personal circumstances? Please explain.
- Where do you need Jesus to heal your hurts, especially those suffered because of injustice? Please explain.
Prayer For Those in Authority:
Almighty and Everlasting God: We commend our Nation to your merciful care, that we may be guided by your wisdom, and live securely in your peace. Grant to our Nation’s leaders, and to all in authority, the spirit of wisdom, charity, and justice; that with steadfast purpose they may faithfully serve in their offices to promote the well-being of all people. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them continually mindful of their calling to serve this people in reverent obedience to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Prayer For Those Under Authority:
Guardian and Shepherd of our souls: Impress upon our hearts the temporary and alien nature of our residency in this world. Give us a spirit of discernment that we may readily distinguish between godly and worldly desires. Show us to live good and honorable lives even in the face of hostility and injustice. And fill us with the power of your Holy Spirit, that we might endure suffering for doing what’s right with the equanimity of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
“Shepherd” – Amanda Cook | Brave New World
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen