2 Peter 3:1-10

I sometimes forget that Advent, like Lent, is a season that calls us to reflection and confession. The purple paraments in church jog my memory, but I prefer the clear lights of the Chrismon tree, the poinsettias, the wreaths and garlands and festive carols. Friends from more liturgical traditions tell me they tire of singing Advent hymns and long to skip ahead to the hymns of the twelve days of Christmastide like “Joy to the World” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” 

But Advent is about waiting, even for the most antsy. I don’t like to wait. I know I must. Yet, in all honesty, I know what’s coming. Just as surely as we’ll light candles and sing “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day will also come, just as it always has.

Our waiting, with or without Christmas carols in the middle of December, is nothing compared to the waiting for and the anticipation of Christ’s second advent that those early Christians, including Peter, were experiencing. There seemed to be little doubt concerning the “if.” And although there was uncertainty about the “when,” the belief was that the Parousia was imminent. Life was hard under Roman domination. The sooner the Lord returned, the better. 

Our first-century siblings were waiting. So are we. To Peter, and to his audience, a thousand years seemed like a day, a day like a thousand years. Perhaps it was like living through a pandemic. One day seems like a week, one week seems like a month, and that Zoom meeting seemed to last for an eternity. 

For centuries, the Church has proclaimed, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” Those words are sufficient for me, whenever and however they come to pass. Let us all embrace those words from now until Christmas Day, and even beyond.


Is my waiting filled with anxiety or hope?


God, help us live in the here and now while waiting with expectant hope. Amen.

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