Living as scatterlings

1 Peter 1:1-2 – Living as scatterlings, by Rev. Colin Pretorius.

My son and I are both preaching on sections of the first letter of Peter, a letter written to scattered believers in what is today Western Turkey.[1] When we talked about the various sections of the letter, Chris said that Peter was writing to scatterlings about how they should live in a strange land. So today we’re going to use his theme of living as scatterlings.[2]

Scatter­lings are people who’ve been displaced from their homeland. They’re wanderers, sojourners, peo­ple who don’t quite belong. They’re out of place. And we have to recognise that in many senses we are also scatterlings. We’re disconnected as a church as well as a society at the moment because of the Covid situation. But more than that, as Christians we are scatterlings within this world, a world in which Christians are being pushed to the fringes of society. We find ourselves more and more in a situation similar to that of the New Testament church – being a minority group in society and in­creas­ingly viewed very nega­tive­ly by the world. How are we to live as scatterlings in a society that is ever more hostile to reli­gion or to faith in Christ? The first letter of Peter is especially helpful about what such a life looks like. In the first two verses of chapter 1, Peter tells us two things that are crucial to our under­stand­ing of what living such a life looks like. As we work our way through this part of the text, we’ll see that scatterlings are firstly chosen and secondly exiles.

  • Scatterlings are chosen;
  • Scatterlings are exiles.

[1] Daniel C. Arichea and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on the First Letter from Peter (UBS Handbook Series; New York: United Bible Societies, 1980), 6.

[2] Chris Pretorius, Living as scatterlings, 2020-06-14.