Peter continues to write about our current lives in this world. He is concerned about husband-wife relationships, that in the congregation there would be unity and love and tenderness and humility, and that we would treat evil doers as we should. He also has an additional word about the blessing that is ours when suffering for righteousness’ sake. In all this there is an important principle: we do not live in this manner simply as a matter of obligation but in order to honor Christ who has saved us to so wonderful a life in heaven where he sits at the right hand of his Father.
Note, also, this counsel from Peter: those in Christ are to live as “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (3:15). We have been loved by so great a love! We have been blessed so greatly! We have been given so great a hope! It should be easy for us to share with our friends and neighbors this hope and to do so with compassion and patience and gentleness and respect. We are children of God, and we should live like it.
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
and grant that we for whom thou diddest die,
being with thy dear blood clean washed from sin,
may live for ever in felicity:
Let us love, dear Love, like as we ought;
love is the lesson which the Lord us taught. --Edmund Spenser (16th century)