A dear member and elder of my church is nearing the end of his life. Frankly, there has been far too much premature death/dying and severe sickness in my circles. In times like this, I find 1 Peter a good book to review. Peter tells it like it is. He reminds us of our hope but doesn’t shrink back from talking of our sordid pasts and suffering futures. Repeatedly, he asks us, in light of the times, to be sober minded. When I was young, I thought foolish thoughts. Now, I am in danger of despair. Both are problematic. Sober minded does not mean depressed. It means that I remember whose I am and what I am made capable of doing. The best passage for me?
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind [Why?] so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have [To what end?] to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms [interesting, God’s grace takes on the form of our gifting]. If you speak [assumes sometimes we shouldn’t?], you should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If you serve, you should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:7-11