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Memorize & Ponder for December 22

God's Patience

2 Peter 3:8-9 (NRSV)

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved,
that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years,
and a thousand years like one day.
The Lord is not slow about his promise,
but is patient with you,
not wanting any to perish.

Throughout 2013, the Christian community at Brentwood Presbyterian Church is memorizing and pondering the meaning of select words from the Christian Scriptures. The passages are chosen to help us understand and practice more fully the love that God shares with us in Jesus Christ. We trust that the Holy Spirit will use these words to form us as witnesses to the commonwealth of peace and justice that Jesus Christ initiated. We invite you to join us in this discipline of becoming more faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Share your thoughts during the week on the meaning the Spirit creates for you in this text by posting a comment here.

A Provocative Ponder

Waiting is never easy for human beings, especially in our modern world of instant gratification. We want it all and we want it now.

Advent is a time of waiting, of anticipation. It is a time to remember what God wants and how patiently God waits to achieve it.

Peter is writing to a disappointed community. Perhaps that’s too gentle a way to describe the impatience of his audience. They were more frustrated and angry. From their perspective, God has let them down. He had not kept his promises. He had not returned in glory as they anticipated. They were grumbling.

Peter reminds them that God’s ways are not their ways – or ours. God’s time is not their time. He invites them to see things differently.

At the heart of that difference is God’s patient love with human beings. God is being faithful to his promise of redemption and flourishing in God’s time – patient, long-suffering, and always filled with the desire to save everyone.

Perhaps that’s hard for us to imagine. But this is God we’re talking about. His way is patient, forgiving  persuasive, dealing with each of us according to our gifts and circumstances, inviting each of us to flourish in relationship with the flourishing community of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That patient, persuasive love is what we anticipate most deeply during Advent.

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