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2 Peter 3:8-15a

I’m sitting in my 7th story apartment overlooking the city. I see the sun rising over the buildings, a rich deep orange glow stretching out across the sky and the neighborhood starting to spring to life as a new day begins. Seldom do I see this simple beauty in the hustle and bustle of my routine. My eyes are usually fixed straight ahead or looking at the ground as I walk briskly to my van and mentally catapult into the activities the day holds.

Today is different. Right now, there is no place I am expected to be and no obligation for me to meet-moments like this are few and far between. To be honest, even now it’s a challenge for me not to go down my mental checklist to cross of tasks or to create a to-do list.

This time of silence is difficult as my soul longs to feel a deeper sense of connection and intimacy with God. For a while now, I have been overwhelmed and consumed with a strong need for solutions to all that is undone, and my impatience has once again gotten the best of me. There are more questions in my life than answers at this moment and I’ve grown tired and it seems this pattern is an unending cycle. Will God come through? Will the needs and desires of my heart to minister faithfully be met? In my head, I know the answer to this is yes. In my heart, there is still a tinge of uncertainty. Lord, help me where I do not yet fully grasp or see the ways and time tables where you are at work.

Advent marks the beginning of the new church year where our community of faith goes back to the beginning in the telling of the story of Jesus Christ. We are reminded of God’s promise to us that Christ has and will come again. This time of waiting and anticipation requires focus and patience in the life of the faith community as our surrounding culture has already jumped fully into Christmas and all the hyperactivity that traditionally accompanies the holiday season. In all honesty, we humans have the tendency to be control freaks and to want things done in our specified ways and timetables- we’ve been this way all throughout history.

Peter’s message to the believers of his time was one of firm belief in God’s work and the surrender of their hearts, souls, minds, and wills to be shaped and created in the way God desires. This message is a reminder that we are not the creators but the created as “Peter’s insistence that the creation of the world was the result of God’s word…scientists and scholars may debate how the world came to be. But the Biblical record is clear: Our world found its true origin as God spoke it into existence.” (Powers, 221-222)

Impatience is dangerous when waiting for God to come through on his promises. In our desire to trust God’s timing we can become skeptical and resentful if we do not feel He’s met our expectations on time. Watson once stated, “We may not scoff verbally, but our prayer life, church attendance and overall life-style may begin to suffer as we despair of God’s promises.” (Powers, 236)

God’s love for each of us is deeper than our own impatience. This is the good news of this passage. His abundant love and slowness to anger is what provides us the many opportunities to repent and turn from our selfish desires, motives and control tactics to receive the gift of His salvation and to live a holy life as a response at places with the best views. This holy living is not a list of rules disguised under self-righteousness and overzealousness, it is simply living out of a desire to please God in a way that demonstrates the character of His love and patience to others as He has demonstrated to us. When the community of faith embraces this holy living the love and patience of God is amplified to those around us who do not yet live in that awareness.

We are also reminded in this passage that the current way and state of this world will not last forever. What we know and what we think we know will cease to exist. This reminder is slightly unnerving as each believer is challenged to prepare for and anticipate the coming of the Lord. The feelings of nervousness that come with this thought are once again met with hope. We have hope that God is at work at shaping us, redeeming us and inviting us to be a part of His work in redeeming areas of brokenness in this world.

As we journey in our communities of faith this advent season may we be reminded of God’s faithful promise and may we exercise patience as we wait to see the fruition of God’s promise.

Come, Lord Jesus, we need you now. Come and meet us in our empty spaces and fill us with the hope, peace and joy of your promises as we navigate life knowing we live in the place of the already and the not yet. Help us to focus on your love and patience with us that we may freely give this to others who need it the most. Help us in our desire to be control freaks so we don’t get distracted on things that ultimately do not matter, instead may we be molded into full reliance on you and all you have for us.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Sources Used:

Powers, Daniel G. 1&2 Peter Jude: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition. Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2010.