“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.” (I Peter 2:21-25) The epistle lesson this week focuses on suffering for Christ. Most of us see suffering for our Lord as an aberration; something weird and out of the ordinary. Perhaps like “sheltering in place.” That has not been the case for many Christians in the past and all too many in the present. But it may really surprise us to see that we are actually “called” to this life. It makes sense. How could we ever follow in the way of the cross without some form of suffering? My tendency is to try to avoid it: go along to get along, etc. But in my best moments, I know that is impossible. How about you? Are there difficult places to which Jesus is calling you to walk? How is your walk doing these days? Is Jesus calling you into difficult places this week so that others might come to know his power and love? To follow Jesus into those hard places is to find again the “shepherd and guardian of our souls.” Have a great week.