1 Peter 1:3-9
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Reflection. No apologies for a longer than usual Bible passage. There is so much in this that reminds us of the 'alternative' theme of Advent; namely the return of Jesus. Why not re-read the passage slowly and out loud. Whilst doing so, listen out for the voice of the Holy Spirit. Dwell with some of the astonishing phrases. Catch the certainty of the effect of faith - the salvation of your soul.
Thanksgiving. Thank you Jesus for rising from the dead. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for the hope of your return. Amen.