To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace be multiplied. 1 Peter 1:1-2 (NKJV)
Do you feel like an exile? Hasn’t COVID-19 scattered us around Champaign, Urbana and the surrounding townships? The people to whom Peter was writing his letter were being persecuted. I think that would be a different challenge than Staying-At-Home. The point is that we may be exiled from each other, but not from God. Is the church building necessary? Absolutely! Why? Because it’s where God’s people gather. The point is that every Christian have a personal and growing faith apart from the building.
What does the Apostle Peter direct the exiles to consider? One, God already knew you were going to go through this. So, why worry—God’s got this. Two, the Holy Spirit is actively working in your heart. Take some time to read the Word and pray. Encourage and care for one another. Let grace and peace be yours in abundance. Three, God’s grace and peace are ours through the blood of Jesus Christ. We are scatter by COVID-19, but united through the blood of Jesus Christ. Christ has overcome the world. 1 Peter 1:18-19 says, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (NIV).
The key is to thank and praise God for what He has done and continues to do for us through the love of Christ. “Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!” 1 Peter 4:16