Sunday, April 22, 2007

1 Peter 4:7-11

“The end of all things is near.”

That is the statement that begins today’s reading in 1 Peter 4 and it caused me to think about endings. Endings come in many varieties:

  • the end of a task – like homework or a job assignment
  • the end of a day
  • the end of a season – like the end of football or the end of winter
  • the end of a school year
  • the end of childhood
  • the end of a job or a career
  • the end of a life

  • Usually these endings approach us one at a time and when they do, there is a very natural sobriety that occurs. In some cases this may include a sense of accomplishment, in others a sense of grieving, but whatever the emotion, there is an instinctive time of taking stock as an ending nears.

    In today’s’ reading, Peters’ statement takes a much broader perspective – ALL things are coming to an end. In light of this, he exhorts us with very specific examples of how we should be living: love one another, offer hospitality (without grumbling), serve others, and speak the word of God.

    I suggest that these examples of living in preparation of the “end of all things” are really a preparation for “beginnings” for just as there are a variety of endings, each ending proceeds a new beginning:
  • A new task begins as one task completes
  • A new day begins at the end of the previous day
  • A new season begins as the old season concludes
  • Summer Vacation starts as the school year ends
  • College or career starts as childhood ends
  • Retirements starts as a career ends
  • Eternity begins as our life on earth comes to a close

  • It’s this final beginning that really matters. We need to hear and then live Peter’s exhortation, “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” 1 Peter 4:11b

    Alan Davenport

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