Today's devotion from Goshen College:
DEC. 4 - ANTICIPATING RENEWAL
By Hannah D. Miller, a junior peace, justice and conflict studies major from Scottdale, Pa.
SCRIPTURE: 2 Peter 3:8-15a (NRSV)
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Advent is a time of anticipation. I look forward to the coming season with the beauty of the winter, of family gatherings and a break from the every day. I realize, though, that for multiple reasons, many do not have these positive images of the Christmas season. One thing that brings me hope is that this season calls us to a higher sense of being and purpose. No matter what our images of Christmas, together we can look forward to a renewal of God's message to us: Jesus.
This passage in 2 Peter talks about looking forward to renewal with a sense of anticipation. As the reader, we are met with images of anticipation for the carrying out of God’s promises in a world where the believers were still extremely persecuted. They questioned God's ability to carry out and fulfill God's promises. But the author reminds the early Christians that God is not forgetful; rather, God is merciful.
The early church felt the urgency to restore God's reign on earth, and so do many Christians today. Sometimes, however, we are presented with views of hasty repentance – "repent or suffer" type of language. Instead of scaring us, though, this passage should be encouragement for believers.
God will bring a new heaven and earth where righteousness will reign. The author means to reassure the believers. To God, "one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day." God is patient. Therefore, let your face shine! God waits for us, the beloved, to be reconciled to God.
SCRIPTURE: 2 Peter 3:8-15a (NRSV)
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 people 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.
View all of this season's devotions at http://www.goshen.edu/devotions
The views and beliefs expressed in the devotional piece prepared by each individual reflect their own spiritual growth journey and thoughts, and while created in a campus environment that encourages thoughtful questions and reflection on biblical Scripture and contemporary Christian themes, do not necessarily represent the official institutional positions of Goshen College or Mennonite Church USA.
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