What I have penned here briefly comes to you with the help of Silvanus, whom I commend as a faithful brother. This [letter] is my urgent appeal and testimony about the genuine grace of God in which you are planted.
Those members of God's similarly chosen family in [this] Babylon, send you their greeting, as does Mark my son.
Welcome each other with a loving embrace.
Peace to all of you, in Christ.
The letter is brought to a conclusion, in much the same way that Peter began. He identifies himself with his readers, concerned that they grasp the full reality of their condition.
We do not know what he is referring to by "Babylon" - but he is clearly indicating that all those who belong to God's family are from henceforth to see themselves in some kind of exile - at least they are to consider themselves waiting for their true homecoming, for when the household of the Lord God Himself greets the return of the Good Shepherd, and they are waiting together.
Babylon reminds us of the people of Israel "waiting" for their Saviour, and maybe also of with Daniel who served as Prime Minister, witnessing to the One True God in a true ministry of mercy in that foreign land.
Even down to the final embrace they are to grow in tender loving care for each other, knowing that they are part of a much wider movement that is going on its way into all the world.
Peter's association with Mark is notable. Mark's gospel has often been said to be the Gospel message from Peter's point of view. But if we are to say that we should also note that Peter does not seem to be too concerned with tweaking the record in order that he comes up smelling like roses. He doesn't have to. He is open about who he is and he is writing this letter from out of a frank acknowledgement of all that he has experienced of the Lord's love and mercy, His patience and His friendship. The letter is not only an exhortation to its readers to express their solidarity; it is written from within a solidarity that shares in a living hope, having once been not anyone but are now a people of God's own special choice. The task for these people has been spelled out in a letter in which the writer seeks to:
shepherd the flock which is God's, not by pressure-tactics but voluntarily, just as God Himself has done. Not with dog-eat-dog competitiveness, but with the eager intention of helping, instead of an approach that presumes to be boss over its own patch.
Read in association with the gospels and Luke's account of "what Jesus continued to do" - the Acts of the Apostles - we see that Peter has been turned around in a remarkable way and here he has written in a manner and with a style which:
seeks to be an example for the entire flock to follow, so that when the Chief Shepherd Himself appears [we] will all be crowned with a status whose brilliance will never fade.