As the first letter of Peter comes to a close, a warning that was real for the people of the ancient Middle East, at least those who wandered out in the wilderness after dark. Lions are mentioned in the Bible here and there, and not because the ancient Israelites went game hunting in Africa.
Tuesday night’s reading cautions us to be alert. At nighttime that might mean caffeine in a beverage. I’ve done that in my younger days. I don’t recommend it.
In the NABRE, the first line is “calm and vigilant.” The translation here says it a bit differently:
Like a roaring lion
your adversary the devil prowls around,
looking for someone to devour.
steadfast in your faith.
(1 Peter 5:8-9a, NRSV)
Today in city neighborhoods, there is the wail of sirens. As a child, that made me open my eyes at night and wonder. Today, I suppose parents of color warn their children about the virtue of calm, vigilance, discipline, and alertness when the police are near. White people might be less inclined to whoa! me on that one. But some of us have been informed on that, right?
Choose whatever metaphor fits your own temperament. Or skin color. The point is that living out one’s faith can be dangerous. Not everyone out there is on the Lord’s side. Or ours. Get some good rest so as to be prepared for tomorrow. But if your doors aren’t secured, it might be a good time to check them.