The Letter from the Apostle Peter to “elect strangers” is an amazing word to those of us who may feel estranged from our own culture by the activities, voices, moods and attitudes it exudes. In writing to a group of gentile Christian refugees who had migrated to foreign lands and then began to live with their culturally jewish “second cousins”, it would be easy to feel disconnected from faith and identity. As we live and move in 21st century society, can you relate? I can.
So Peter begins in chapter 1 verse 2 by reminding all of us that as we come to faith in Christ, that process is overseen by the foreknowledge of God in His own decree and calling on our lives and as He sovereignly sanctifies us in our spirit. This forms the basis for our identity in action (obedience and sprinkling vs 2), blessings (vs 3), spiritual life (vs 3), inheritance (vs 4-5) and protection (vs 4-5). We are a community of faith based on “obedience to the truth” (vs 22) which builds a tribe of brotherly love (vs 22). How much more inviting is this tribe, one that looks not on genetic or philosophical origins but on commitment to the truth of both the logos and rema word of God (vs 23-24 and compare Hebrews 4:12-13). By encountering, accepting and then living inside logos and rema truth we can move from tribal estrangement to fellowship of the soul.