Scatterlings live and serve in humility

Scatterlings live and serve in humility – a sermon on 1 Peter 5:1-11 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.

The sermon today, as you may have guessed from the sermon title, has to do with humility. And as we look at what humility means and how it plays out in the life of believers, I’d like you to think about what humility looks like to you. I’m reminded of a woodpecker who on a cloudy and overcast day was going about his business – he was pecking away at a tree, trying to make a hole so he could make a nest for himself and his woodpecker-wife. He was having a real go at it but wasn’t that hugely successful. Then out of the blue a lightning bolt struck the tree and split it in half, almost sizzling the woodpecker in the process. But he flapped his wings and hung there in the air, looking at the damage and then exclaimed to every other bird in the area: “Just look at what I’ve done!”…..

Well friends, I think it would be fair to say that that was possibly not the most humble thing to say, would it! That sort of attitude points a bit more to the other side of the scale – to arrogance or to pride.  This isn’t the sort of attitude that Peter is talking about in this part of his letter to the scatterlings in all those far-flung provinces. This isn’t the type of Christian living that these scattered believers are encouraged to practice. One of the themes in this passage is living and serving with humility. In the first 4 verses, the focus is on the elders – and we looked at that a few weeks ago but this morning we’ll do a brief recap on that. In verse 5 Peter speaks first to the younger ones in the congregation before going on to the whole congregation. And in verses 6 and 7 he again addresses himself to the whole congregation with respect to humility before God. We’re going to look at these verses then in four sections:

  • Humility in eldership;
  • Humility as younger ones;
  • Humility as a congregation; and
  • Humility before God.