18 September 2020

2 Peter 3:11-13

We wait for new heavens and a new earth ... (v. 13)

Psalm: Psalm 121


Fans of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy will remember with affection the 'Total Perspective Vortex'. This ingenious and terrifying device somehow manages to give an individual a sense of themselves in the context of the universe. The effect is not good. To know how small and insignificant we are undermines our sense of self-worth and even our sanity. Peter's purpose is similar but rather more constructive. If the end time is upon us and we are invited to live 'prepared and ready', then we need to notice that all the things that consume our time, money and efforts are about to be destroyed. Because of this they shouldn't matter! And because they shouldn't matter you can lead a life of holiness and godliness. Of course, such a warning could go the other way! 'Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die'. For Peter it doesn't work that way. These things will pass away but only so that a new heaven and new earth shall come. The insubstantial and transient now, with all its demands on our time and energy, will be replaced with the substantial and eternal. What we thought was real fades away in the coming of the great reality, God.

In this new world "righteousness is at home" (v. 13). The holy life we are invited to lead is not only possible because the stuff and distractions of now are coming to an end, but is essential because the holy life is the natural and appropriate life for the new creation. Our prepared and ready stance as we live in the end times, is in fact a preparation and readiness for the beginning times of God's reign of love.

To Ponder:

  • What does a holy, Godly and righteous life look like in today's world?
  • How might you live now in the light of God's promised kingdom?
  • What things that concern you now that might be described as transient or 'passing away'?

Bible notes author

The Revd Dr Mark Wakelin

Mark Wakelin was born in Norfolk and taken to Africa as a baby by missionary parents. He was the President of the Methodist Conference 2012/2013, and before that worked for the Connexional Team, as the secretary for internal relationships. He is now the minster at Epsom Methodist Church.

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