It was concerning this salvation that the prophets made careful search and investigation, and they prophesied about this gift which God would give you. 11 They tried to find out when the time would be and how it would come. This was the time to which Christ’s Spirit in them was pointing, in predicting the sufferings that Christ would have to endure and the glory that would follow. 12 God revealed to these prophets that their work was not for their own benefit, but for yours, as they spoke about those things which you have now heard from the messengers who announced the Good News by the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. These are things which even the angels would like to understand.
13 So then, have your minds ready for action. Keep alert and set your hope completely on the blessing which will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 Be obedient to God, and do not allow your lives to be shaped by those desires you had when you were still ignorant. 15 Instead, be holy in all that you do, just as God who called you is holy. 16 The scripture says, “Be holy because I am holy.”
17 You call him Father, when you pray to God, who judges all people by the same standard, according to what each one has done; so then, spend the rest of your lives here on earth in reverence for him. 18 For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold; 19 it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. 20 He had been chosen by God before the creation of the world and was revealed in these last days for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from death and gave him glory; and so your faith and hope are fixed on God. – 1 Peter 1:11-21
There is more and more talk these days about life after COVID-19. People are wondering about how the economy is going to get re-started. Some are very worried about a second wave of the virus. Still others are protesting, while others are waiting patiently. We’re all going to face a different kind of normal in the months ahead.
When listing the things they are looking forward to, people will mention going out to dinner at their favorite restaurant. Others look forward to visiting face-to-face with their children and grandchildren. Others want to see the kids go back to school. We’re looking forward to a return to public worship.
But in the midst of all these forward-looking dreams, there is a very important reminder, perhaps even a corrective.
God revealed to these prophets that their work was not for their own benefit, but for yours, as they spoke about those things which you have now heard from the messengers who announced the Good News by the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.
We don’t live for ourselves. We may legitimately look forward to seeing our grandchildren, traveling, eating out, and other wonderful social interactions that are a blessing from God. But our purpose in all these things is no different now than it will be at that time.
Peter tells us that the prophets served us: to bring the Good News of Jesus to us so that we would be saved. We, too, have the purpose of bringing glory to God, and seeking to spread the Good News of Jesus’ reign and rule of grace. This has not changed. It will not change.
I suspect the challenge will be to remember that the relief we all seek is not just so we can enjoy better days. I dearly hope to visit grandchildren, eat out, and travel. I just want to remember that these activities are settings in which I may live under Christ in his kingdom, and serve him. We do so by serving one another, and living in gratitude and hope. All this has been secured for us by Jesus’ resurrection, and God holds out this hope and promise by his grace and goodness!