Nov. 22, 2021
The grocery list, the to-do list, the gift list; how else can we keep track of all the things we’re to get done in a day, or a week? Work, family, civic duties, church duties – it’s no wonder we’re so tired all the time. Yet the most important list is enumerated right here in St. Peter’s letter.
Starting with verse five, we have the ‘Get right with Jesus list’. Knowledge is spiritual truth. Temperance is self-control. Patience is endurance. Godliness is God-likeness. Brotherly kindness is brotherly love. Charity is volitional love (the use of one’s own will; in this case, to love thy neighbor even when it’s difficult). (KJ study Bible for the definitions)
This list is not one that we get done today or tomorrow – it’s a life long journey to achievement. We need church every Sunday, we need all the Bible study we can get, whether it’s our own private study but more importantly the Bible study our priests offer every week. We need to give a quick check to what’s about to come out of our mouths – is it temperate or are we about to give someone a piece of our minds they may not need right now? Brotherly kindness is what we practice at work, in the grocery store, on line any of the places we get on line for, like at the gas station or the ATM machine – if the line’s not moving fast enough for us (because you know we’re very busy and have all those other lists to check off), we’re to be patient, understanding that not all people move or think as quickly as we do. Charity is working to find it in our hearts to forgive those that get on our last nerve or who have interfered with us in some way. Charity is keeping in mind that we are all broken people; yes, we, not just ‘them’. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Verse 10 helps us to understand why we need to be working on this list – hourly, daily, weekly … you get the idea. Verse ten ends with “…for if you do these things, ye shall never fall.” We’re a fallen people because of original sin – you know, Adam and Eve; we really don’t want to ‘fall’ because we never worked on St. Peter’s list. Remember the cheat sheets you used to use to study for exams – reminders of those items you were apt to forget when the exam paper was in front of you. That’s what car visors are for! Put a sticky note up there – Knowledge, temperance, patience, Godliness, brotherly kindness, charity. Couldn’t hurt, right?