Suffering for Righteousness (April 29)

1 Peter 2:18-25

Comment

Peter, credited with writing the letter we study today, suffered for righteousness:

“Christian tradition holds that Peter was martyred in Rome under the emperor Nero, that he was put to death by crucifixion, and, specifically, that he was crucified upside down” (read more about Peter’s death in Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, Revised and Updated, Harper & Row, 2011, p. 784).

Reading the Scripture

Here are some ways you might read the scripture or tell the story:

•    The Message translation of the New Testament (1 Peter 2:18-25):

18-20
You who are servants, be good servants to your masters—not just to good masters, but also to bad ones. What counts is that you put up with it for God's sake when you're treated badly for no good reason. There's no particular virtue in accepting punishment that you well deserve. But if you're treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a good servant, that is what counts with God.

21-25
This is the kind of life you've been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.
He never did one thing wrong,
Not once said anything amiss.
They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you're named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.

•    Audio:
o    The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).
o    Faith Comes by Hearing: You’ve Got the Time (Dramatized New Testament we used a few years ago during Lent. Available in the church office.)


Teaching Suggestions

•    Help educate our congregation about the Morocco partnership. Find some articles on the KBF website:
o    Morocco Refugees (general article)
o    Story about recent visit to migrant camps in Oujda
o    Pray for Morocco
o    Invite Shawna Stomberger, Keith, or anyone who has been to Morocco to share briefly with your class.

•    Here’s a story about a man in Morocco who suffered persecution. Shawna and I met him in his home.

There we encountered Mogarash who had to flee Congo due to conflict.  Before he fled, he was beaten and hit over the head - which left him with some temporary paralysis.  He was able to receive refugee status in Cameroon with his wife and children, but he needed medical attention.  He choose to come to Morocco because of the better medical opportunities for him while leaving his family in Cameroon.  We listened to his story, sitting in his 8x8 room he rents for ~$75 a month.  He is unable to move on his own very well, often having to crawl to and from where he needs to be.  Though we sat with him, prayed with him, helped with this month's rent; we still left sensing that our meager "God bless you" really does nothing to change the reality that his Saturday will be the same as it has been for every day of his life for the last year and a half. 

•    Now that Christians are no longer the powerless minority, how do we treat others who are powerless, poor, minorities, aliens, immigrants, persecuted, disliked?

•    Martin Luther King Jr.’s essay, “The Power of Non-Violence” can be found here: The Power of Non-Violence 

Resources

•    Read more about Peter’s death in Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, Revised and Updated, Harper & Row, 2011, p. 784.

•    For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)