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Pilgrims

As we will see, a home of eternal glory lies before us and even now it lights our way.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion” (1 Pet. 1:1) 

Have you ever accidently opened someone else’s mail? You slit the top open, withdraw the letter, and start to read it. As you do, you knit your brow in puzzlement until it dawns on you that the letter is not for you. 

We can have that reaction to the letter written by Peter that we hold in our hand. We quickly realize that it’s not addressed to us but to pilgrims in places unfamiliar to us. 

Do not fear. It is written to you and to me, and to all believers in Jesus through the centuries. It was originally addressed to believers who were driven from their homes by persecution and scattered throughout those regions mentioned by Peter. 

The Spirit of God ensured that Peter’s letter was included in the Bible, as one of the 27 letters that make up the New Testament. He wanted believers throughout the years to have access to God’s wisdom in the struggles we face. 

We, too, are pilgrims, or as Peter will later put it, we are sojourners. Our permanent abode will be in the new heavens and the new earth. For now, though, we are travelers, temporary residents in what can be an inhospitable world. 

We find ourselves ill-at-ease not only because we are on the road but also because the world around us may not be very friendly toward us, particularly if our association with Jesus is conspicuous to them. Peter will tell us not to be surprised when we face oppression and opposition, but that doesn’t always make it easier when we do. 

One thing Peter wants to make sure we know is that Jesus is with us and He is for us. Because of that we can find peace and joy even in the midst of suffering, whether that suffering is the product of our own sin or our poor decisions or whether it is inflicted upon us by others. 

As we will see, a home of eternal glory lies before us and even now it lights our way. 

REFLECTION: Though we are pilgrims, we are not homeless. Pray for the peace of Christ. 

Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale

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