15 May 2014

2 Peter 3:8-10

“… with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.” (v. 8b)


"God picked a dead poppy stalk with a fat seed head and twirled it in a thoughtful sort of way. 'How do you explain to a pupa the need for the chrysalis or describe to it a butterfly?' he said. Jessica wiped her nose on her sleeve again. 'One day you will understand,' said God."
(from Winter Chills, in Bumping into God by Jenny Dyer)

Patience is a virtue, according to Peter. Many people within the early Church, it seems, had began to think that God was being rather slow about things. They had been promised Jesus' return and a new heaven and a new earth - but where was it? Patience, says Peter. The Lord is "not wanting any to perish, but to come to repentance" (v. 10). Whilst people are still waiting, there is still time for them to turn to God. In the promised day of the Lord, our lives will be exposed - the Lord, it seems, wants to give us plenty of time to get them ready for inspection.

From God's perspective, where a thousand years is like a day, Jesus' return isn't far away at all. But to those people living in the 'not yet', how is it possible to explain what will come afterwards? Or the need for a delay? "How do you explain to a pupa the need for the chrysalis or describe to it a butterfly?"

To Ponder

  • Why do you think it is so rare to hear sermons about 'what happens next'?
  • While we wait, to what extent does it seem like the world is 'coming to repentance' or perishing?

Bible notes author

Naomi Oates

Naomi Oates has worked for the Connexional Team in a variety of guises since 2012, currently as the Executive Officer to the Secretary of the Conference. She is also training part-time for presbyteral ministry.