“….forgetting that they have been cleansed from past sins”
As with all the readings we look at here, there’s so much richness in today’s passage. I couldn’t hope to cover everything that Peter is driving at here in what I’m aiming for, bitesize chunks to make us think at the start of the day. As I’ve said before, please do return to this reading more than once through the day or during the week, and see what it might be saying to you.
For me, today, a key element of this passage is the part of a verse quoted above. Peter is exhorting us to desire the fruit of the Spirit, in ever increasing measure, so that our knowledge of God, in the holistic, rather than merely academic sense, might increase. It’s powerful rhetoric. We are foolish and without true faith, he argues, if we do not see increase in our knowledge, wisdom, love and hope. But in the middle of it all is the key bit, and the key pastoral message for us today, I think:
It all comes down to whether we truly believe that we are a forgiven, free people, or not. Do we really think that we have been forgiven of past sins to such an extent that God has forgotten them? We struggle, many of us, to forget sins we have done, or things done against us, so how can God forget? But if He does not count our wrongdoing against us, we can live in the positivity and hope of abundant life, knowing that we are secure. We don’t need to doubt, to question, whether we really are forgiven, whether the work of the cross truly applies to us. We can hold to it with confidence. And then we can, gradually, gather the strength and wisdom of God that He gives to us, so that we can focus on our primary task, to love God, our neighbours and ourselves, with everything we have, and to seek justice, care for the poor, widows and orphans, to be the radical world-changers that we are called to be.