MySpiritualAdvisor.com’s Mark Kurowski reflects on why God is taking so long to Come Again. Who is waiting on who? Listen to this podcast of his reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent. Please read 2 Peter 3:8-15.
For MySpiritualAdvisor.com, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 12/4/2011The 2nd Sunday of Advent.
Please pause this audio and read 2 Peter 3.8-15.
In the 1980s, scientists began mapping the human gene sequence so that they could identify genes that affected different diseases and characteristics of the body. They announced just before the turn of the 21st Century that they had completed the gene sequencing portion of their project, the “human genome” project. We frequently were informed that “scientists have now identified the gene that controls” whatever it was.
In that climate, where humanity can find the genes that control diseases and body functions, it seems that we, and not God, have the power to raise the dead and send them back from heaven. People could look at the advancement of science and think that we are nuts in trusting a Messiah who return from heaven to claim us and replace the heavens and the earth with new ones.
If they are so smart, those scientists, what gene is it that causes sin? What gene is it that causes us to only seek out our own way and our own self-proclaimed good? Find me that gene so that I can manipulate it—or why bother—I have a Savior who has fixed it already.
I think the ability to identify genes and manipulate them is going to be the down fall of humanity in the 21st century. We can manipulate genes all we want, but it is Jesus Christ who can fight off sin and eternal death. It is in this climate that WE, who believe in a God who raised Christ from the dead and will send him to judge the “living and the dead,” are reduced to silly dreamers by the world in which we operate. I think that St. Paul said it best when he said, “To the world the Cross is foolishness, but to us it is salvation.”
Around the first century, Christians of that day were faced with the same sort of dilemma. They, too, were considered ridiculous. Their detractors were saying that since Jesus had not yet returned, there was no basis in fact for his return at all. The detractors were saying with bad grammar, “If he hasn’t come by now, he ain’t comin’!”
You know, to make that kind of statement implies that if it doesn’t happen when you can see it, then it is just not true. We can look at the fact that there are Chinese people in China, even though we haven’t seen them, to know this is a false proposition. We know that there was a Battle of Gettysburg, or a Holocaust, even if we did not see it or witness it. In fact, a lot of what we know we know based upon faith in others that they are telling the truth.
So, it is ridiculous that because something hasn’t happened by our lifetime that it isn’t going to happen. St. Peter says, with my paraphrasing, “Listen, you self-righteous children of the scientific enlightenment! It’s not that he isn’t coming because he hasn’t come, he hasn’t come yet because he is waiting for you to come around to his way of thinking!” Plain and simple.
Maybe we object to God wanting us to think of things his way. What is it that you and I said as children when we wanted our parents to do things our way? We used to stomp our feet, maybe pout a little and say, “Not fair!” It isn’t fair that God wants me to believe in something that I don’t want to believe, we at least think.
I remember that I would say to my mother, “I am mad at you.” She would smile at me and say, “O.K.” Then she would go on with life as if my little opinion didn’t matter.
That is the same with those who want to be disobedient to God, or self-righteous in their proclamations, or self -aggrandizing in their findings. It is not confined to science; in fact it is usually easier to find the faithful in the science department of any school. Scientists are amazed by what God has done. My point is that those of us who have a little too high of an opinion of ourselves, we want to yell up at God, “You hurt my feelings! I am angry with you!” God, like my mother, simply looks down and says, “O.K. I’ll wait.”
No matter how much we face people who do not want to believe that Jesus is coming again; I want you to know that God’s response is not to blast them out of the water-yet. God’s response is to lovingly and patiently wait. What is it that St. Peter says in the reading for this Second Sunday of Advent? “The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
This passage says volumes about God. It says that the Father in Heaven is willing to let his creation think what they want to think—even if it is to their own destruction in the end. It also says that God will delay the coming of Christ because what he really wants is for his creation to be saved—not damned! He is waiting for us to come around so that he doesn’t have to judge the people he loves unfavorably.
Good grief! How many of us would let our own children be accused unfairly, go through a sham of a trial and then be nailed to a cross so that other people could be set free? What more must God do to prove to us that he is not a God of death, but a God of life and life eternal offered to us without price for our salvation? He is a God who loves us and wants us to do what is good and just and right. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes who reigns not with a hard and harsh hand, but with forbearance and mercy.
Who, then, is waiting on whom this Advent?
This Advent, when we anticipate the Second Coming and prepare to rejoice and celebrate the first coming of the Christ Child, let me tell you what kind of God we serve. We serve a Lord who loves us enough to wait for us. He will not wait forever. He is, nonetheless, waiting for all of us and our friends and our relatives to come unto him, all who are burdened and heavy laden, so that he can give us true rest.
Before we start stamping our feet and accusing God because he doesn’t run on our time table, or he calls us to do things that we don’t agree with doing, let’s remember who is who and who is God.
Let us rejoice today and every day that God doesn’t come down when we demand, but will come when he is good and ready. Amen? Amen.
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