The thanksgiving in these introductory words of 1 Peter urges the reader to affirm that a new birth into a living hope has been given to the Christian community in light of Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection. Christian hope is not merely a better attitude. It is the recognition that God has taken up our human lost cause and made it God's own. As one interpreter said "God sets hope to music, and music sets people dancing."
It isn't that everything is going to be OK or that we can gaze with a sense of nostalgia at the good old days. Christian hope is active, calls us to make plans. As one person said, "hope buys green bananas!"
First Peter proclaims the good news that God has come in the past. God is helping us in the present. God awaits us in the future. God always seeks change.
Two contemporary quotations related to the change we are called to pursue. "Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change" (Henry Cloud). "When we are no longer able to change a situation--we are challenged to change ourselves" (Viktor Frankl)).
Will we accept the new birth God offers?