I’ll be honest. When I hear new details of the George Floyd protests, I get a bit anxious – because the protesters are angry, violent and, most frightening perhaps, unpredictable. When I hear an update on our government, I grow concerned – because some politicians are duplicitous, powerful and, perhaps most frightening, unpredictable. I don’t know what’s true or what to expect. You know the feeling?
We live in a time in which there is very little information we can not access. You may even say too much information, and too many people sharing or creating that information. And far too little experience discerning fact from fiction. Harder still, I believe, is determining what’s true from what is almost true
So what can I count on to be both true and unchanging? What can I take comfort in knowing? The Word of God and the nature of God.
This year has been hard on all of us. Even the introverts are tired of the limitations the Coronavirus has left us is. And at this writing, businesses and neighborhoods are being destroyed in protests spurred by the loss of a black citizen’s life at the hands of a white authority. And none of us really know what to do. About anything. It’s now that I take comfort in my salvation and adoption by my Abba as his child.
This morning, my husband and I were discussing whether our current condition is a sign of the end times. Is Christ about to return at any moment? Will it get even scarier out there before he does. And we determined that we’re no more intelligent or wiser than Christ, who himself doesn’t know when the God who has the moon and stars in his hand will give the charge, so what do we know.
But that brought to mind 2 Peter 3:9:
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
In the same chapter, the church is encouraged to be prepared and to live so as to be found spotless when Christ returns.
Today, it would be so easy, as a Christian, to sit in self-righteousness and be confident of my readiness, to think “I’m ready!” And while checking the news and reading social media, seeing hatred and deception, it would be easy to be the Pharisee who publicly thanked God that his God saw him as a righteous man was not a sinner like the tax collector. We are right with God…unlike the vipers in government and the vandals, looters, and other ne’er do wells.
But before we get too comfortable with this increasing polarization, I want to remind you of 2 Peter 3:9. God is staying his hand so that the people who we’re about to pronounce judgement on still have time to accept Christ as their savior, understand they’re sinners, and repent.
Before Christ ascended into the heavens, he commissioned us to share the Gospel. It’s great to be on Team God! But we can’t just join the team and be done, proud that we’re there. We still have the daunting task of waiting diligently so as to be acceptable at his son’s return. We can’t just stop because we got our Get Out of Hell Free card. We’ve been commanded, by the one to whom we belong, to invite others to join the team. That’s why we’re still waiting.
It’s so easy to look at a fellow sinner and condemn them for their behavior and polarize ourselve opposite them.
We are all sinners. And we are all unworthy and completely dependent on the grace of God. But we are all loved by our Abba.
And so God waits. The house is on fire, we’re safe, and we even saved one other person. What are we going to do about the others still trapped in the house?