|The Burning Bush, Nicholas Froment, ca. 1476|
ADVENT 2B: Lectionary: 2 Peter 3: (8-10) 11-15a
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.
God will come when God will come. We’ve heard that over and over. But, granted, this life of faith is difficult. How do you keep holding on to a hope when you often see no progress at all? How can we continue to be forced to wait for whatever it is for which we’re waiting? Because, as the passage says, we are promised a new heaven and a new earth. We are promised that all of Creation will be recreated. We are promised that, once and for all, righteousness will have a home. Righteousness, then, will be the norm. Righteousness will be an everyday thing.
And in this Season of Advent, we learn to wait. Good things cannot be rushed. The plan for God’s Kingdom was not made hastily and it cannot be just thrown together because we are getting a bit impatient with the whole ordeal. So, what do we do in the meantime? We live as if it’s here. We live righteousness. We give it a home. The Holy and the Sacred is not unattainable. In fact, if we just open our eyes, it is spilling into our lives even as we speak. God does not sit back and watch us squirm and strain until all is said and done. Rather, God gives us glimpse after glimpse and incarnation after incarnation and waits with infinite patience for us to respond. Look around…there are more burning bushes and parted seas than we can ever possibly imagine. As the writer of the Epistle passage that we read this week maintains, it is that Holy Patience, that Waiting God in which we find our salvation. And so if we live as if the Holy and the Sacred has completely filled our lives, righteousness will indeed have a home and we will no longer be waiting for salvation.
In this season of Advent, give yourself the gift of living as if righteousness and peace and the fullness of God is all you know.
Grace and Peace,