This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you; in them I am trying to arouse your sincere intention by reminding you that you should remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken through your apostles. First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!” They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
God keeps promises, but God also works in God’s own time, not in ours…
This time of Advent, as we prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, is a sign of God’s promise to us, the promise to always be with us, always love us, and to always care; the promise that we are forgiven and that will one day we will be reconciled with God and with each other, and that when this happens, we will be one in the Kingdom of God.
The ancient Hebrews referred to this as the “Day of the Lord”; however, this is not a day to be feared, but to be hoped for…because the Day of the Lord is when we are finally one with God and with each other, when sin and death will be no more and no longer be barriers between us.
Today’s reading speaks of that day, but not in terms of a ‘Second Coming’ of Christ, but to the fulfillment of God’s promise to us, and of God’s Will that we never know pain or sorrow again.
Like any good parent, God does not want us to suffer or to know harm or sorrow; sadly, these things still happen in our lives as our world is our relationship with God is still broken by sin and by conflict that keeps us apart from each other and God.
So if God does not want us to suffer, why do we? I have no answer, but it may be because we often fall short of what God wants for us, (or of we want for ourselves)…but the good news is that God is patient and loving , offering us forgiveness instead of punishment, but not always protecting us from the consequences of our actions either.
In this way, God is like a loving parent, who does not want their children to suffer, although sometimes there is nothing that can be done to protect them…not even from their own mistakes.
As loving parents ourselves we have had to learn to be patient and to forgive them (as well as ourselves) for their missteps, as while we will not always like what our children do, we will also never stop loving them, caring for them, and seeking to teach them the best way to face the challenges and the temptations that life presents to them.
Ultimately, our goal as parents is to see that our children turn out well, have happy lives, and grow up to be the good people we know that they can be. We do our best to see that this happens, by teaching, guiding and loving them, but in the end, we simply have to turn the results over to the care of God’s love, and trust that God does in deed keep promises.
Let us Pray
God, thank you for loving us all! Help us to remember that as we are your children you want only the best for us, just as we want for our children. Help us to always seek to do your Will, to teach our children how to meet the challenges of life, and to be forgiving of them and of ourselves for when we fall short or your glory. Thank you for forgiving us and for your promise of love, hope, and the promise that one day our brokenness will be healed, and we will all be one with you…in your kingdom.