(from the North Carolina Council of Churches)
1 Peter 2:19-25
It's quite a puzzle, isn't it,
How by his wounds you have been healed?
It says "from sins," but what is that?
Some basic human law repealed -
The law that says each person fears
To lose what he or she has gained,
One's safety, wealth, or way of life,
The things you've worked hard to attain?
The way you have to grasp for more,
Sometimes, no matter what the cost?
But then some person gives his all -
It's like a threshold has been crossed,
Some door into a life that's free
From worry since this person gave,
Without a thought for self - and now
You, too, can act as one who's saved.
Scott L. Barton
For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God's approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."
When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
+ + +
They devoted themselves to the teaching served up
By the apostles, and each others' care,
They devoted themselves in the power of love,
To the breaking of bread and the prayers;
These two words, "they devoted," now fill me with awe,
What a gift that such zeal they had!
What a wonder that all were provided with what
They had need of, which made them all glad!
And not just in the temple was church, then, "the church,"
But 'twas even at home as they ate,
Where their generous hearts and their genuine praise
All the peoples' goodwill did create;
Not by effort or work did community grow
To the faith that we now still can see,
But from all that would keep us from joy are we saved
By the Lord, who's the first devotee.
Scott L. Barton
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.