Saturday, December 3, 2011

Heaven and Earth Shall Pass Away

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be?  You ought to live in all holy conversation and godliness;  -- II Peter 3:11 (KJV, self-paraphrased)
The lead-in to this verse has heaven and earth melted down and evaporated, so what is left for humans to be or do?  This could be viewed as a frightening word of prophecy.   Lord, can't we all recall how it has gotten misused this way to convert wayward sinners?  There is within this frightening scene, however, a powerful affirmation.  It is based on the unspoken understanding that human beings can and will survive this apocalyptic destruction.  Our Christian belief is that even when our physical bodies meet their earthly end our spirits pass on to eternal life.

The following verses of this passage supply the Advent passwords; "Watch!  Wait."  The passage instills the sense of immediacy.  Indeed there is some immediacy!  We do not know either the time or the hour when all physical life could pass away; whether this is for the planet as a whole, or for me personally.  Astronomers have not instilled a great deal of confidence in their ability to do much more than warn us before asteroids hit earth; nor do we know when a heart attack or stroke could fall us.  But, there is a certainty in our being, a certainty in our knowing that a presence with our spirits has full possibility and hope of carrying on regardless of what happens to us physically.  The writer asks, "Of what manner of person (or character) ought you to be (if you are being sincere in your watching and waiting?)  His answer, "Live in all holy conversation and godliness."  Do not slander, do not judge, do not call names, do not be petty and small.  Be magnanimous, grace-filled, considerate and forgiving.  Remember the love with which Christ first loved you and practice finding the capacity in your heart to love others likewise.

Lord, cause us to remember that we are watching and waiting for Your Presence to encourage us to greatness of spirit and choice.  Enable us to practice our holy conversation and godliness for Your glory.  In Christ's name.  Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment