Participating in Christ’s Suffering
June 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
1 Peter 4-5 invites us into a world of Christian suffering that are not easily reconcilable with the experience of the Church of today that still remember Christianity as a strong feature in society. Valerie Nicolet-Anderson writes: “At the time of Peter, Christ-believers could experience this fiery ordeal in a variety of ways. They could be mocked because their practices were considered strange. They could become isolated from their families because of their decision to join the Christ-believers movement. Or at a deeper level… when organized persecutions of Christ-believers did take place, they could suffer at the hands of the state.” As Miguel A. de la Torre puts it, “the early churches were persecuted not for what they believed but for what they did. They preached a message of liberation. To preach good news to the poor, freedom to the imprisoned, sight for those blinded, and liberation to the oppressed is to reject conformity with the prevailing power structures.” Peter reminds us that if we live out the radical implications of the Gospel, we can expect to participate in the suffering of Christ by being rejected and persecuted as Christ was. What would that look like in the life of today’s church and the role Christians are supposed to play in our contemporary society?