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Posts tagged with: 1 Peter

A tumbleweed in the middle of a road

Tumbleweeds

Christian leaders do not have followers; they have people entrusted to their care.  And sometimes God rolls those people into our lives like tumbleweeds.

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All Souls Church in London

God’s Construction Project – Part II

Are we willing to sacrifice for the flourishing of our local church, the relational community and the institution which embodies it? And why should the local church be that important to us? The answer for me lies in God’s intention for the local congregation to be a “living sacrifice” that models Christ’s sacrifice to the watching world.

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house under construction

God’s Construction Project – Part I

Instead of working with inanimate object like wood and stone, God is constructing a building that is alive, made of human beings.  Strangely, we are not only construction materials but participants in the construction process. As today’s text says, God is constructing a house made of “living stones.”

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A number of light bulbs hanging from a ceiling

Calling in COVIDtide: We Have Received Mercy

Right now, right here—whether you are sheltered in place, working as an essential employee, trying to get unemployment payments, seeking discernment for next steps, or wherever you might be at this moment—it might not feel like the best place or time to proclaim God’s mighty acts. Remember this, though: in your daily life you are sustained by the God who calls you and chooses you and reminds you that you are precious in his sight. His mercy is everlasting, and his love is sure.

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yelllow flowers growing out of stone wall

Easter and COVID-19:
Glorious Joy, Even Now?

In the midst of such a hard time, however, those to whom Peter wrote had hope. But not just hope for the future. They also rejoiced in the present “with an indescribable and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8). Notice that this does not say “you will rejoice someday” but you “are rejoicing now.” In other words, they were joyful in the midst of suffering.

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yellow daffodil

Easter and COVID-19:
What Difference Does the Resurrection Make?

The COVID-19 crisis certainly will make a difference in our Easter celebrations, won’t it? But, I wonder, will the difference also go in the other direction as well? To put it simply, I wonder if Easter will make a difference in how we think about, feel about, and experience life during a pandemic.

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A window.

Living Hope, A Season of Advent

Here we are at another Advent season—when we commemorate the anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ. To set the scene biblically, it was a time of great darkness in the earth, and more specifically in the Jewish community. They had been waiting for the arrival of their Savior with the expectation that he would turn the tables of their misfortunes. Exile, captivity, oppression, the pervasive humiliation of second-class status—over time, these feelings compiled to birth… hope.

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Two women on a bench laughing.

iForgive: Because of Love

In my last devotion, we looked at Peter’s question regarding how often we should forgive those who trespass against us. Like most of us, Peter was most likely attempting to protect himself from people who would take his forgiveness as a vulnerability. While his question was both understandable and valid, there remains a deeper question that we should resolve. Why should we forgive? What is the motivation behind our acts of forgiveness? The answer to this is love.

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An employee sitting confidently.

How to be a Boss People Remember (For All the Right Reasons)

Recently, I asked a group of people to share a few words about their favorite boss. I asked them, “Tell me about your favorite boss ever. What made that person a great boss?”

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Rublev’s Trinity icon

A New Way of Leadership: Instructions to Lead Servants, Part 5

Why is humility central to the Christian vision of leadership? In today’s text, Peter finishes his instructions to early followers of Jesus who were in leadership roles. His teaching is crystal clear: everyone – inexperienced and veteran leaders alike – must embrace humility as the essential quality that defines his or her leadership. But, why is this so?

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Crucifixion of St. Peter by Caravaggio

A New Way of Leadership: Instructions to Lead Servants, Part 4

I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be a “lead servant” in my last series of reflections. I prefer the phrase “lead servant” to “servant leadership” because the former puts primary emphasis back on servanthood rather than on leadership. I find that the wording matters. For me, it is a helpful corrective to our cultural obsession – and if I am honest, my own personal obsession – with learning how to “take charge” as a leader rather than with learning what it means to be a servant.

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A baby learning to walk.

A New Way of Leadership: Instructions to Lead Servants, Part 3

I’ve been reflecting on Jesus teaching on leadership in the context of Peter’s denial and subsequent restoration. The picture of Peter’s early leadership experience isn’t pretty, much like the experience of a child learning to crawl and walk. Peter isn’t held up as a great moral example to follow. Nor is his denial simply presented as a warning of what not to do. The truth, as it often is with Jesus, is more complex. We are given a real-world picture of the difficult process of becoming a “lead servant”.

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A firefighter looks on at the remains of the Twin Towers following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

A New Way of Leadership: Instructions to Lead Servants, Part 2

Does our text today seem odd to you as a way to begin Peter’s instruction to early church leaders? It does to me. Peter had experienced Jesus’ forgiveness despite his failure under pressure.

During the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers, we saw an example of what that looks like in the work of the Fire Department of New York.

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Two Star Wars minifigures with their masks & bodies switched.

A New Way of Leadership: Instructions to Lead Servants, Part 1

One of my favorite scenes from George Lucas’ Star Wars anthology is when Luke Skywalker first meets Yoda. Luke is expecting to train with a master Jedi warrior. Instead he finds a strangely decrepit creature that seems more like comic relief than someone who can help him learn how to become a Jedi knight. At one point Luke says in frustration, “I don’t even know what I’m doing here…”

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