Daily Worship

In the gap

February 23, 2021 0
Image credit: Unsplash

1 Peter 3: 18-22 (NRSVA)

18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight people, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

Peter, fisherman preacher, explores the universal scope of who Jesus is and what he has done. He identifies him as present and working in all of human history. He reaches back into the narrative of  the destructive days of the flood and God’s covenant promise of “Never again”, signed by the rainbow. Christ was at work then. Peter bookends this with Christ’s work in the “Once for all” covenant of grace that came with Jesus’ death and resurrection, dying for sins and rising, signed by the water of baptism. We live in the “broad place” established by these covenants. Yes, we wrestle with the tensions created by wrongness, brokenness, injustice, illness, death, bereavement. But Christ is working here also to bring us all to God. In all things, God’s promises, fulfilled in Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, have the first and the final word, his covenant of protection and grace stitched into all of human history, ours included. 


We long to be righteous, but know how unrighteous we are.
You stand in the gap, and bring us to God.

We yearn for the fullness of the Spirit’s life, while knowing the ways of death at work in our vulnerable bodies.
You stand in that gap and bring us to God.

In the span of time from history, through today and into the future, 
You, Jesus, stand in the gap and bring us to God.

From the tiny few rescued from the flood, to the everyone offered saving grace,
You stand in that gap and bring us to God.

From the cloying dirt that sticks in our lives, to the freedom of clear conscience 
You, Jesus, stand in the gap and bring us to God.

We thank you.

Lent Legacy 2021 Action

If you have been baptised — lift a glass of water, drink it and thank God for your baptism even if you can’t remember it, it’s grace received. If you haven’t been baptised — lift a glass of water, drink it and reflect upon how you too are invited to the waters of baptism.