Friday, February 22, 2013

Willingly as God Would

I hope he applies.  :oP

The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

“…and witness to the sufferings of Christ.” 1 St. Peter 5:1

What an interesting way to put that… I mean why not say, “...and witness to the saving power/joy/peace/happiness” something to that effect. I remembering hearing that the first letter of St. Peter was his Easter homily to newly baptized Christians. This was written when Christians were being persecuted. This specific passage is directed to the presbyters, or priests, and since we are baptized into Christ; we are also prophet, priest and king.

This is written to me. This is written to you. This is written to all of us.

“Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.” 1 St. Peter 5:2

“Tend the flock” reminds me of what Jesus told Peter at the campfire at the lake after the Resurrection. When I put this passage in a context of preaching to people who are suffering and I then hear it as Peter telling them not to take out their suffering on others. I feel that is my default; my default is that when I feel bad I try to make other feel worse so I feel better about myself. I criticize, say something hurtful, roll my eyes, sigh heavily to let people know I am annoyed they are talking to me, instill doubt, make sarcastic comments etc, etc, etc. The list, sadly, goes on and on ad nauseam. I try to apply a false air of superiority and all of this is un-Christlike.

I think when St. Peter says, “witness to the sufferings of Christ,” he is telling those listening to bear their suffering the way Jesus did. Do not take it out on others. Do not lord it over them. Do bring it to God and let the pain from the suffering end with you. Do not continue to spread shame, pain and suffering.

“Feed My sheep. Tend to My flock. Be an example of the power of My Love in the world and this is how you will make disciples in My name.”

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