Friday, 16 May 2014

Singled Out for Love and Rejection

Quotes from Reinhard Feldmeier, The First Letter of Peter: A Commentary on the Greek Text (translated from the German by Peter H. Davids; Waco: Baylor University Press, 2008)
“Election connects with God, but at the same time separates one from the world around and so creates a distance, indeed a tension with fellow human beings.” (132)

The total weight of 1 Peter’s discussion lies on the new, on the new beginning, rebirth and the new life of hope that is connected with it. Thereby, a clear contrast is marked in the whole self-understanding and understanding of reality. One could say in a somewhat stereotyped way that the contemporary world of the Christians was oriented on what had become; their present was legitimated by the past, while the Christian community related everything to God’s future that in Christ already had broken in, which made the past appear as old and vain – whereby this new is again the totally original and is that which is already established by God’s predestination before the creation of the world (cf. 1:20). This contrast of the interpretation of reality and the self-understanding that is founded upon it also constitutes a substantial moment of the theme of foreignness that is so important for the letter.” (144)
Election has a Christological basis: Jesus Christ is supremely God's Beloved (chosen, precious) and the one Rejected by humanity (despised, crucified). Those who are joined to Christ are objects of the same love and rejection.

A Grief Observed

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.
The opening paragraph of C. S. Lewis' small and worthwhile book A Grief Observed.