Devotional for Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Twilight: Grace Descends
by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Peter's first epistle is addressed to "strangers in the world," who have their homeland in heaven. They are not surprised that they suffer when they do what is right. They follow the footprints of Jesus.
1 Peter 5:1–5
Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Pet. 5:5).
Grace, like water, runs to low places. The deeper we bow, the more grace we receive. For those who live in high places, grace is hard to get.
Throughout the Bible we are warned that God scatters the arrogant and sends the rich away. But he fills the hungry and exalts the lowly. Humility before God is the basic trait of all who want to be counted among God's people.
However, we must not only be humble before God; we must also "clothe ourselves with humility toward one another." Humility is not a gesture we make now and then for proper decorum. It is a garment in which we are clothed for the duration of our pilgrimage on earth. Maybe Peter was thinking of the time Jesus bowed before his friends, dressed in a towel, to wash their feet. "Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another."
The Christian community must present a dramatic contrast to our worldly society. Christians don't climb over each other; they help each other. They don't envy each other; they rejoice with each other.
In due time we will be exalted. But for now we remain uncrowned, and we live humbly in the shadow of the cross. We live in places low enough to receive God's grace.