Letters for Exiles
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an “exile” is someone who is living in a “voluntary or forced absence from their home or country.” It is a word used to describe the feeling of dis-location that so many people face when living far away from the comfortable or the familiar. The experience of exile can lead to a variety of feelings from loneliness and fear to anger, excessive nervousness, and hypervigilance. The experience of exile can lead people into greater isolation or drive them to lash out in anger.
As we think about life in 2022, there are many people who can sympathize. Our world is constantly in flux, with changes and challenges coming faster than we can manage. And more and more people are longing for something permanent, something solid, something reliable to cling to. Increasingly, we feel like exiles. And our temptation is either to fight or run. But what if there was a different way to live? What if life in exile is exactly where God wants us to be?
That is why the letters of 1 & 2 Peter are so timely; they are written to exiles. Composed at a time when Christian faith clashed with the wider world, these letters offered a message of hope and lessons in how to live well in a world that was not only in constant flux, but, at times, even hostile to questions of faith, spirituality, and God. In this series, we are invited into a new way of living that brings hope and transformation wherever we go.