“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 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 persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming 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.” 2 Peter 3:8-13
During the season of Advent, the fact that we live between two glorious events is highlighted in our preparation to remember and celebrate the birth of Christ and as we anticipate Christ’s return. Of course, as we remember the significance of the birth we also then remember his life, death and resurrection. Jesus’ birth without the subsequent resurrection after death would be only another birth of an earthly child. But this is the birth of God’s son, Immanuel, God with us! The promise of God fulfilled - thanks be to God! So remembrance turns our attention forward in time to the next great promise – the return of Christ! When will that be, the Father only knows, our responsibility is to live now as if in a moment. To live as Christ lived, to love as Christ loves, to invite others as Christ invites, to welcome others as Christ welcomes. We are to do all possible to keep any from perishing and assist all to come to repentance so all may share in the promised new heaven and new earth where righteousness is at home. It starts and ends with Christ but never ends as holiness and righteousness prevail. Where are you this season? Stuck in the memory or confidently living in faith for the promise?