“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappado’cia, Asia, and Bithyn’ia,
chosen and destined by God the Father…”.
To be Christian is to be chosen. This is the language 1 Peter puts forward in the face of our belief that we are choosers. He uses other words equally as disturbing as they put us in the passive role; destined, called, sent, saved.
What about being free to choose, being responsible, having some role, having a say in something that so dramatically effects my life? I want a will that’s free to choose.
But there it is; “…chosen and destined by God the Father…”. And it is not only Peter who says it, Paul says it (in fact, using the term ‘elected’), John says it, Jeremiah says it, it’s all over the place in the Bible. What are we to make of it, we who believe we are free?
For the Christian freedom results precisely from our being chosen. The knowledge that we are chosen by God means that we are now free to serve the neighbor and the world and we are free from self-service and the religion projects of self-salvation.
When we can rejoice in our salvation by using words like destined, called, sent, saved, when we can pick up the vocabulary of faith in such a way that our freedom claims give way to the heart of the Gospel; then we may rejoice in that freedom that is truly defining of Christian faith and life; the freedom of God that chooses, by grace alone, to love sinners.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”