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Aug 30, 2020

Strange Stance

Strange Stance

Passage: 1 Peter 5:6-14

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Strange Faith

Keywords: suffering, humility, healing, stand, the devil, resistance

We all have our “footing” in something--what we most believe, most want, most strive for. Our foundational beliefs, desires, and efforts form our footing. Peter has said we have to stand firm in the true gospel. What does it mean to have that kind of firm stance in the grace of Christ?

Order of Worship

PRE SERVICE: 1 Peter 5:8
PRAYER: Faith and the World (The Valley of Vision)
CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 119:89
Confession (Book of Common Prayer)
Assurance - 1 John 1:9
MESSAGE TITLE: Strange Stance
CENTRAL TEXT: 1 Peter 5:6-14
RESPONSE: ADMISSION Of FAITH: (The Book of Common Order - The Church of Scotland)
BENEDICTION: Romans 16:25-27
POST SERVICE: 1 Peter 5:10-11

Readings & Lyrics for Outdoor Worship Service >

Readings & Scripture

PRE SERVICE: 1 Peter 5:8
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

PRAYER: Faith and the World (The Valley of Vision)
ALL: O Lord, the world is artful to entrap, approaches in fascinating guise.

LEADER: Let faith escape every bewitching snare in a victory that overcomes all things.

ALL: In our duties give us devotion to Your cause and courage in Your name.

LEADER: Let faith stride forth in a giant power and love respond with energy in every act.

ALL: Your Word is full of promises, flowers of sweet fragrance when culled by faith.

LEADER: May we be made rich in its riches, strong in its power, and delighted in it’s joy.

ALL: Lord, increase our faith.

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 119:89
LEADER: 89 Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. 90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. 91 Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.
95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes. 96 To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.
ALL: 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. 111 Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.

Confession (Book of Common Prayer)
ALL: Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being, whose face is hidden from us by our sins, and whose mercy we forget in the blindness of our hearts: cleanse us from all our offenses, and deliver us from proud thoughts and vain desires, that with reverent and humble hearts we may draw near to you, confessing our faults, confiding in your grace, and finding in you our refuge and strength; through Jesus Christ your Son.

Assurance - 1 John 1:9
LEADER: 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

CENTRAL TEXT: 1 Peter 5:6-14
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

RESPONSE: ADMISSION Of FAITH: (The Book of Common Order - The Church of Scotland)

ALL: We believe in God; who has created and is creating, Who has come to us in Jesus Christ, To reconcile and make new, Who works in us and others by his Spirit.

We trust him. He calls us to be his Church. To celebrate his presence. To love and serve others. To seek justice and resist evil. To proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen.

Our judge and our hope. In life, in death, in life beyond death. God is with us.
We are not alone. Thanks be to God. Amen.

BENEDICTION: Romans 16:25-27
LEADER: 25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith

ALL: 27 to the only wise God be glory for evermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

POST SERVICE: 1 Peter 5:10-11
10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


  • Genesis 3:1-5
  • Psalm 40:17
  • Psalm 55:22
  • Matthew 5:26-27
  • Matthew 6:25-34
  • Matthew 24:42-43
  • Philippians 4:5-7



  1. Name a time when you’ve been brought to your knees. (Maybe now is that time?) What, figuratively speaking, took your feet out from under you?
  2. What tends to make you feel weak in the knees when it comes to following Jesus? What circumstances, or ideas make you think your faith might just buckle? Why those? What then?
  3. What preoccupies you these days? What are the effects of those preoccupations? Do you cast your anxieties upon Him? If so, how? If not, why not?
  4. What matters is not so much the strength of your faith but its object--where that faith is placed. How does the Gospel confirm that idea?
  5. Have you ever sensed a kind of “brilliant” opposition arrayed against you--as if there were a malicious intelligence behind it? What was (is?) it like? How have (are?) you faced(ing) it?
  6. Go back and read through Peter’s letter again. What do you most take from it? What theme--what verse--had the most to say to you? Why so?


  • Why are you downcast, o my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? - Psalm 42:5
  • Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause. . . Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me - Psalm 43:1, 3
  • Calvin says somewhere that each of us is an actor on a stage and God is the audience. … I do like Calvin’s image…because it suggests how God might actually enjoy us. I believe we think about that far too little. - Rev. Ames in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead
  • Christians have two kinds of goods; the goods of the throne and the goods of the footstool; immovables and movables. If God has secured those, never let me trouble over the loss of these: indeed, if he had cut off his love...I had reason to be cast down; but this he hath not done, nor can he do it. - John Flavel, Keeping the Heart
  • I don't know what to say except that the worst misfortune isn't only misfortune. - Rev. Ames in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead
  • For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. - Ephesian:6:12
  • The militant revolt demanded of Christians [which] distinguishes it from all other kinds of revolts, is not directed against any people: not even against . . . [those] they see taking totally different and corrupt and fatal paths. . . .In terms of their commission—even though they will sometimes clash with all kinds of people in discharging it—they rebel and fight for all men, even. . .for those with whom they may clash. - Karl Barth
  • The devil will try to devour us not only through our inclinations toward pride, lust, envy, anger, and so on but also, more subtly, through our very desires and actions for justice, good order, peace, and progress. - Douglas Harink
  • Hamlet was someone whose doubts made him incapable of acting right. Hamlet was frozen:to be or not to be. That's the question. But. . .Hamlet had it backwards. . . your doubts should free you, because once you've accepted that you don't know what happens next, that you can't predict or plan everything in your life, then you're free to act. Because what's holding you back? . . .I think my father thought that Hamlet was wrong. He believed in God. Even though no mathematical proof exists of God's existence, doubt did not compromise his faith. It was what gave him freedom to believe.- Malcolm Gladwell in the eulogy for his father
  • Who am I? They often tell me
    I step from my cell
    calm and cheerful and poised
    like a squire from his manor.
    Who am I? They often tell me
    I speak with my guards
    freely, friendly and clear,
    as though I were the one in charge.

    Who am I? They also tell me
    I bear days of calamity
    serenely, smiling and proud,
    like one accustomed to victory.

    Am I really what others say of me?
    Or am I only what I know of myself?
    restless, yearning, sick, like a caged bird,
    struggling for life breath, as if I were being strangled,
    starving for colors, for flowers, for birdsong,
    thirsting for kind words, human closeness,
    shaking with rage at power lust and pettiest insult,
    tossed about, waiting for great things to happen,
    helplessly fearing for friends so far away,
    too tired and empty to pray, to think, to work,
    weary and ready to take my leave of it all?

    Who am I? This one or the other?
    Am I this one today and tomorrow another?
    Am I both at once? Before others a hypocrite,
    and in my own eyes a pitiful, whimpering weakling?
    Or is what remains in me like a defeated army,
    Fleeing in disarray from victory already won?
    Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine,
    Whoever I am, Thou knowest me, O God, I am thine!
    - “Who am I,” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • ...I am so sure of God’s guiding hand that I hope I shall always be kept in that certainty. You must never doubt that I’m travelling with gratitude and cheerfulness along the road where I’m being led. My past life is brim-full of God’s goodness, and my sins are covered by the forgiving love of Christ crucified....- Dietrich Bonhoeffer