1 Peter 1:3-4
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”
I was a 26-year-old straight, married man when I finished Gilmore Girls. Yes, that Gilmore Girls, the early 2000’s sitcom. My wife said she loved the show and Netflix was coming out with a long-awaited follow-up season, and we have a rule in my home that we only watch TV shows together, no cheating, so I gave in and committed to trying out Gilmore Girls, just a few episodes. Three episodes in and I’m hooked. It was girly. It was witty. It was addicting.
There came a point in the penultimate season where I couldn’t guess who Rory, the brilliant female lead, would end up with. Which guy would she choose? There were three solid candidates. Would it be the teenage sweetheart, the rebel with a soft spot, or the entitled college guy? I couldn’t tell. I had to know. But my wife had warned me that I wouldn’t find out until the series was almost over, and we had an entire season left. The agony!
So I googled the ending. I looked up how the series would end, so that I knew far in advance what I could expect. My anxiety went down. All was well with the world. I knew how the story ended.
The Apostle Peter is writing to the first generation of Christians because they’re down on their hope. Church attendance was low. Persecution was high. Times were tough and faith felt irrelevant. What Peter doesn’t do is remind them of what happened years ago, when Jesus died on the cross for us. What he does is remind them of how their story will end. There will be a resurrection. God will defeat death in his final victory over everything that is not love. You can be sure that you will inherit the gift of eternal life.
There’s power in knowing how a story ends. You know what to expect. You know what to hope for. We know that the story of creation will end in new creation, when God comes to earth, raises the dead and puts everything right, and the Kingdom of God won’t be a dream deferred but a reality celebrated. It’s like watching the final episode in advance, or reading the last chapter of a book you can’t put down. Now you know how the story ends. Now you don’t have to be afraid. Now you can push through the pain for a while longer. God will have the victory and we all get to live. You have every reason to hope.
Amazing God, you are saving the world right under our noses. Help us to pay attention. Help us to play our part in your salvation today. And help us to remember what we stand to inherit: not money, not property, but life-everlasting, starting today and ending never. In the name of Jesus, the first-fruits of the dead. Amen.
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