The end of everything has come. Therefore… – 1 Peter 4:7 (CEB)

In the past few months, blogposts, think pieces, and memes have offered both recommendations and explanations for human behavior during the new abnormal of pandemic response. We list our Netflix favorites, or share our accomplishments, or fuss at people handling things differently, or offer to let ourselves off the hook entirely for the basics of life.

The letter we call 1 Peter went out from Rome, we think, to a young Christian community. As the community grew deeper in their faith, the writer offered a word about how to live alongside the “normal” way of being for first-century people. They were a minority in their beliefs, which included the belief that normal was temporary. The end of the world was coming, they thought, when Christ would return and all the bad things would be over and God’s goodness would prevail.


How do we know how to act and what to prioritize when everything we counted on seems to be over? The letter recommends exercising self-control, remaining clear-headed, showing sincere love for others, and serving people in need by using the gifts God has given us.

It’s a good word for this season, when we may be spiraling over the news and tempted to deny what’s happening and play games on our phones instead. The situation in the world is complicated, and it feels like the end of everything we have counted on for our security.

Take a minute, an hour, a day to do what helps you feel better, but let’s not give up on what matters. Let’s look around for something, one thing, we can do to help someone else.

Holy One, help us to help each other, for your sake. Amen.

Martha Spong About the Author
Martha Spong is a UCC pastor, a clergy coach, and editor of The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms for the Struggle, new from The Pilgrim Press.