Calvary FMC Newsletter

Published 5/18/20

Hello Calvary Family.

We are getting ready to start a new series on the book of First Peter. There are a number of things which have prompted me to do so. First of all, we began our year looking at the book of Mark and we noted that Mark’s gospel was very likely based on Mark’s listening to the preaching of Peter. Thus, since I enjoyed our study of that gospel I thought continuing the thoughts of Peter would be a good follow-up.

One of the things I appreciated about the book of Mark was its honesty. I say that because I found the book of Mark to be especially critical regarding the shallow faith of the twelve disciples. And the worst of that criticism fell upon the head of Peter who we observed being called Satan himself:

Mark 8:33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

And then later in the story we have the account of Peter denying the Lord three times after he had claimed that he would be faithful to Jesus even if it required him to die for Jesus. That is certainly not a very flattering picture of the one who has been renamed ‘Peter,’ ‘the rock,’ the one who has been given the keys to the kingdom and upon whom Jesus gives oversight of his church. And what makes me appreciate the honesty of this account is the fact that Mark gathered these stories from Peter’s own preaching. Peter is the one who tells us what a horrendous failure he had been during the life of Jesus. And so I’m hoping that we’ll find more of that honesty in this book.

But finally, what drew me to this letter of Peter is its subject matter. Peter begins this epistle with the words:

1 Peter 1:1     Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen

Peter tells us he is writing to ‘aliens,’ aliens who are ‘scattered throughout’ this area of Asia Minor, which is comprised primarily of modern-day Turkey.

When I think of aliens, I first think of a creature from another world, a creature that looks vastly different from a human being. I googled ‘aliens’ to see what the world’s viewpoint of an alien was and the first images to appear were of creatures with a huge head and big black eyes with no hair and a very skinny neck. And then, of course, there were the images of E.T., the extra-terrestrial, the friendly alien who could bring things back to life and who always wanted to ‘phone home.’ I have to admit, however, that when I think of aliens and the movies, E.T. isn’t the first image which comes to my mind. No, it is rather the movie with the same name, Alien, the film with Sigourney Weaver, in which the alien kills all the humans besides Ripley. Yes, that alien was certainly a far cry from the friendly E.T.

But I really can’t say that I’d want to be either of those creatures, the friendly E.T. or Ripley’s destructive monster. An alien is something that is different or foreign, something or someone who doesn’t fit in. In a lot of the movies with aliens scientists are trying to study those aliens, seeing what makes them tick, trying to discover what they think and how they live. They are not like us. And we don’t want to be different; we don’t want to be ‘aliens.’ We want to fit in.

But have you ever felt like an alien, like you don’t fit in? One of my earliest recollections of feeling like an ‘alien’ was when I was invited to a birthday party when I was about 6 years old. It was the party of a good friend and I was very excited to go, that is, until my stepfather decided I needed a haircut and he decided he was going to be the one who gave me one. Well, what he ended up giving me was what I guess would be described today as a Mohawk. My head was almost completely shaved except for a thin strip of hair going down the center of my head. I suddenly had no desire to go to the birthday party. I felt like I looked totally stupid. But my parents made me go anyway and all throughout the party I felt people were staring at me. I was very uncomfortable. I felt like I didn’t fit in. I felt like an ‘alien.’

Well, Peter is writing to a group of Christians in Asia Minor and he describes them as ‘aliens.’ They don’t fit in. In 2:11 he will again address his readers as ‘aliens and strangers.’ In chapter one, verse 17, he acts as if they are indeed from another world, only spending a short time on this planet:

1 Peter 1:17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

Well, there it is, “E.T. phone home.” We’re just here for a little while and we have to spend it ‘in fear’ while we are getting ready to leave.

Yes, the world looks upon as ‘aliens,’ weird creatures from another world because we live lives different than them. But we are going to see in this epistle that while the world looks upon us as ‘aliens,’ God has chosen us, loved us, adopted us into his family and has an inheritance waiting for us in heaven. We are valued by him, so much that even the greatest of God’s saints upon earth and even the heavenly angels are envious of us. That is certainly an important reminder as we pass through the various trials of this world and are scorned as different by its inhabitants. That is an important reminder as we endeavor to live lives pleasing to the Lord and not to those around us.

So we hope you will be able to join us on our Facebook page or on YouTube for these exciting studies. Or, if you feel comfortable in doing so, we hope you can join us in person at our church at 10;30 for morning worship, as we reopen again on May 24th after being closed a number of weeks due to the corona virus.

And very soon we hope that you will be able to join for these many other exciting events at CFMC.

  • Adult Sunday school each Sunday @ 9:00 in the Living Room followed by fellowship time @ 10:00
  • Study & Prayer–Wednesday nights @ 6:30
    • If you haven’t joined us in the past, or if you haven’t been with us in a while, I encourage you to join us! Wednesday’s are always a great time of inter-generational discipleship. Right now we are in the midst of a study on the life of the prophet Elijah.
  • Community Potluck–3rd Sunday of each month, following the service.
  • Serving Meals at the Hope Center the 2nd Wednesday of each month @ 5:00

Blessing on your week,

Pastor Brian