"Na Pita, he apotoro na Ihu Karaiti, ki te hunga whiriwhiri e noho manene ana i Ponoto, i Karatia, i Kaporokia, i Ahia, i Pitinia,
He hunga kua oti te whiriwhiri, te pera ano me ta te Atua Matua i matau ai i mua, i runga i te whakatapunga a te Wairua, kia ngohengohe, kia tauhiuhia ki nga toto o Ihu Karaiti: Kia whakanuia ki a koutou te aroha noa, me te rangimarie.
"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance".
In 1 Peter 1:1-2,Peter doesn’t shy away from reality.
In 1 Peter 1,Peter names what they are, they are exiles, he names where they are, they are scattered.
He’ll go on to name their suffering due to Roman persecution.
Peter knows they are shaken, and shocked.
Peter knows they are scared and scattered.
Peter knows many are wounded and wondering “what in the world is going on” as their own worlds are shaken.
Peter knows many are reeling and rocked.
Peter names their reality.
…then, in verse two, he re-orientates them to the reality of their reality…he shows them whose they are.
What are they, they are God's elect!
Where are they, they are in the center of God and his purposes.
Whose are they, they are God’s chosen, Spirit sanctified obedient disciples of Jesus.
Their reality is grinding but the reality of God’s immeasurable grace to them in Jesus can sustain them, replenish them and reassure them.
Peter doesn’t minimise their suffering to magnify God.
He magnifies God to minister to their suffering.
This Sunday as leaders, we can name the reality of these days. We are not facing a colosseum but many of us and those we love have faced a cyclone.
Some in our church families have faced the effects of stress, strains, pressure and the loss as a result.
Some of us have faced the uncertainty and the grief faced by both brothers and sisters across these islands and their communities.
All the same we’ll name “whose we are” because of the death and resurrection of God’s son Jesus.
We’ll name that we face the future in Him, through Him and for Him. We’ll name God’s lavish grace poured out into us through Jesus Christ.