Tuesday 19 September 2017

Bible Book:
2 Peter

“Where is the promise of his coming?” (v. 4)

2 Peter 3:1-7 Tuesday 19 September 2017

Psalm: Psalm 85


It is clear that many in the Early Church lived with a strongsense that the world was about to end. Everything that theyunderstood about God's judgement and promise seemed to point to it.Some even sold all their possessions and gave the money away. Itmust have been an extraordinary time to live with such anexpectation; a mixture of fear, hope, and excitement. 'Maranatha''Our Lord Come!'. But he didn't, not in the way they wereexpecting. There were no angels in their legions come to conquerthe earth and impose the rule of Christ the King. There was no fireand flood, and end time terrors. How could they make sense of thisapparent failure? Peter reflects with them that the very mockerythey receive for the absence of the end time is in itself a sign ofthe end times! But he also puts their longing for God's will to bedone within the greater time frame of creation itself. God's beenaround a long while and the future is still God's!

As the Early Church grew it changed. The sense of an imminentend faded, although it has returned to the Church at differenttimes over the centuries. Our understanding of a second coming hassometimes been swept into a believe that God has already come aswell as 'will come'; God who is present in Christian fellowship, orin the gifting of the Holy Spirit, or perhaps in the celebration ofthe Lord's Supper. Our present moment is put in the context of theAncient of Days; of creation and the vast distances of time andspace. It too is exciting, frightening, and full of hope. Christ isboth the one who is present now and was present in creation, forthrough him all things were made. He is also the one who will come;the beginning and the end. Of course, this is hard to understand asPeter clearly indicates, but understanding is only part of ourwonder, and with such grand themes we can rest in our "present helpin trouble" (Psalm 46:1) as well as a confidence in thefuture glory that is to be.

To Ponder

  • Where do you sense God's 'imminence' - God's presence in theworld now?
  • Where do you long for God's coming - to bring justice, peaceand love?
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