Today's Lectionary Text
2 Peter 3:1-18
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.
Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
We have just begun the journey of Advent, this holy time of waiting, preparation and anticipation.
As a child, my anticipation centered around two things: The beloved Advent calendar my grandmother made and Christmas morning.
To prepare for the coming of Christmas there were signs throughout the house. The upstairs tree would go up with all of Mom’s Hallmark ornaments, while the downstairs tree was filled with ornaments made at school and Care Bears made by my grandmother. The nativity would be set out and the Advent calendar would go up.
My grandmother made this magnificent tree out of felt with plush ornaments that attached by Velcro. One ornament went on each day (alternately placed by myself and my sister), until Christmas Eve, when baby Jesus went on the tree with the star being placed on the top on Christmas day.
We waited, we prepared, we anticipated, just as those long before us did for the birth of Christ. Each year, we follow those same steps to remember his birth: waiting, preparing and anticipating a time when He will come again.
This scripture asks us while we are waiting to grow in grace and knowledge of our Savior.
In this season of anticipation, may we prepare our hearts as we wait, grow in our knowledge of the scriptures and extend grace as freely as we have been given.
Communications Administrative Assistant
Prayer for Reflection
O Lord, we wait upon Your presence preparing our hearts and this world in anticipation of this season of Advent.
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