Peter makes a greeting of contradictions.
Firstly the words of high calling:
“chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood”
Lets see if we can put this another way…
“The High King of Heaven has summoned you from heaven’s deepest prison for rebels. The High King has now granted you pardon and citizenship of His land—the land you once fought against. What’s more He calls you to be a captain in His army, in this decisive moment of the battle. In a high ceremony unseen by you, you are set apart, commissioned by the Holy Spirit, and sprinkled with the blood of the great Commander Jesus—you are called into the obedience, sufferings and hardships of the Commander”
Such is the drama, gravity and grace contained in this greeting.
But then a word that seems to steal away all the grandeur of the greeting:
The great calling and commissioning seems to mean that God’s people are not to set up a fortified compound and barracks against the host country, but to lay down their uniforms and move in with the enemy—to conduct a warfare of love and truth. And yet, there will be uneasy tension. God’s captains may love the land and the people they are liberating (for it will one day be taken back by the High King). God’s captains may make their homes and wear the clothes of the culture around them but they will never be comfortable in them, and they will never quite belong. Just as they are feeling settled in the land they will be reminded of how temporary their tour is, and long to return to their home. They will always be on loan from the kingdom of the High King.
One day, the greatness of their commissioning will be recognised in a great homecoming. But for now it is the exile commission.