Ash Wednesday Homily - 2 Peter 1:5-7
Progress in spiritual growth requires intentional effort, discipline. St. Paul urges Timothy to, “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline (gymnasia) is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7–8). The phrase “of little profit” is more literally translated, “for a little” (ASV). The question is, profitable for “a little” what? It is best translated “for a little time,” since the contrast in the context is “the present life and also for life to come.” In other words discipline which aims to strengthen the body will only affect this life, but spiritual growth will bear fruit not only in this life, but in eternity. Peter says it this way, "giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-7). Spiritual disciplines are training for reigning, from godliness to glory, from humility to exaltation. What are your spiritual discipline goals for Lent?
Chiastic Outline of Virtues
a Selfless Love
b Brotherly Love
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more