Second Sunday of Advent – Year A The Epistle

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15:4-7)

 

If Peter was one of the first apostles, Paul was one of the last. And just as Peter was straightforward, so was Paul direct and was not reluctant to speak his mind. I remember reading in Acts about some of the encounters between them. But both were devoted to Christ and our Lord’s ministry. But both also experienced some problems and struggles before coming to mature faith. It is good to focus on both of them as we live out our spirituality.

 

Here Paul, as Peter did in the daily “Sip of Scripture”, speak along similar lines (that is why I picked this passage from the four choics of Advent readings). Paul focues on the instruction portion and suggests this should keep the believer’s heart open to welcome others and live in harmony. Peter suggests that obedience to truth should lead to a deep mutual love. And who are we to say that one is better or more accurate than the other. May you gentle reader spend the second week of Advent listening to the Divine and loving your fellow believers.

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GENUINE MUTUAL LOVE . . . From purified souls

“Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart.” (I Peter 1:22 from I Peter 1:13-25 )

It is likely that the apostle Peter wrote I Peter. I would like to think so because the two books of Peter read basic and straightforward. Like Peter himself. And that is the trend of my thinking tonight, not much prose and poetry. Just simple and direct talk about living an authentic Christian life. I appreciate that about Peter. Other New Testament may say the same things as the writer of I Peter. But his simple prose cuts through the theological discussion and rhetoric of other writers. The writer of I Peter says . . . your soul is pure . . . because you have obeyed the truth . . . and therefore you have genuine love for one another. So use it! Anything more would be repetitive rhetoric and of no further edification.

May you gentle reader love purely and deeply all of humanity. Selah! And shalom for your day.