God of timeless grace,
you fill us with joyful expectation.
Make us ready for the message that prepares the way,
that with uprightness of heart and holy joy
we may eagerly await the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:1-10
This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies[b]will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.[c]
At the beginning and the end of the American summer of 1998 two global disaster films involving projectile from space slamming into the earth with the potential of wiping out humanity. Deep Impact and Armageddon book-ended a summer with tales of humanity overcoming impossible odds to avoid an E.L.E (extinction level event) and at the same time revealing the ultimate human pride that we can overcome anything. We laugh in the face of destruction. We scoff at the idea of total loss. We will live forever or at least we all aren’t going out at the same time.
At the same time many of us fear that we might be caught without making amends with a Holy God before He decides to come back. We have said the sinner’s prayer, acknowledge faith, or whatever flavour of repentance your tribe practises but we are still worried that God is keeping a ledger account and we are hopeful that the good outweighs the bad at the end of the day.
In the in between, the now and not yet, some scoff and some worry and God is patient. He is not slow as we would imagine. He is patient. He longs for our salvation. If you are a scoffer, do not overlook God’s faithfulness to His word. If you are a worrier, do not overlook God’s faithfulness to His word. He is patient. We cannot live our lives believing that He will not come again and pursuing our own pleasure. We cannot live our lives believing that when He comes we will have not done enough or apologized the right way to enter His rest. He is patient. Our lives are lived toward Him and His patience pursuit of us.