Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Sunday, November 29, Evening
By Rev. Chris Brown
A Time of Hopeful Waiting
Read 2 Peter 3:8-15
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 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.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.
Near the end of our New Testament is the second letter attributed to Simon Peter directed at an unknown audience. In it, Peter speaks of Christ’s promised Second Coming. And we are reminded once again, as Jesus instructed the disciples in the Gospels and Paul reiterated to the churches in his letters, that God’s timing is not in accord with human expectations. He writes, “… with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.”
Do you ever wonder why some days seem to go by slowly while others feel as if they appear and disappear at breakneck speed? The ancient Greeks had two main words for understanding time: Chronos and Kairos. The first term, Chronos, is the kind of time that moves in a linear direction. Kairos refers to a moment or an event or “a period of time.” It is like when someone says to you, “Hey, do you remember that time…?” The New Testament speaks of Kairos time (84 times) more than it speaks of Chronos time (54 times). Kairos means “the appointed time in the purpose of God,” the time when God acts, or the time when we see God move in extraordinary ways.
This Advent Season, as we participate in holy waiting, we wait in hope and in anticipation for Christ’s promised Chronos return. Furthermore, we celebrate and give thanks for a God that is working in extraordinary Kairos ways and that it is on a “timeline” that goes well beyond our earthly understanding.
Lord, grant us patience and understanding in this time of hopeful waiting. Help us to recognize the times in which you have worked and are continuing to work in this world. Amen.
Rev. Chris Brown is a Pastor at Colonial Heights UMC, Kingsport, TN, was raised at Church Street, is a former college ministry coordinator, and Duke Divinity intern.