Monday, June 1, 2009 – 2 Peter – Passion
Once again we are cautioned about false leaders; and we are reminded that God keeps his promises . . . no matter how much time it may take . . . no matter how much doubt we may have . . . no matter how many times we may turn away from the truth. Christ has walked among us, the Holy Spirit has descended to dwell in us, Christ will come again. It is believed that Peter did not actually compose this letter and that it may have been written by one of a second generation of disciples. What is important is that this author knows Peter’s story well; and that he speaks to us today from the perspective of one who loved, denied and turned to return to love. He writes to us with words that are at once an impassioned warning and a passionate plea. Peter, or his namesake, asks that we hope in the future and that we take up an active waiting in and for God.
We find in this letter a strong argument for why we must remember the events of Christ’s suffering, death and restoration. Our very survival as spiritual beings hangs on our willingness to stop blaming others for the problems and controversies that come naturally with life; he urges that we look to ourselves to examine how great a part we might have in our own trials. Those who know Peter understand that this is familiar territory for he thrice denied the Lord, and thrice acknowledged his error. As we reflected several days ago, when Jesus asks Peter, Do you love me? . . . the answer is a resounding and passionate, Yes, Lord, you know I do.
This second generation Peter conveys to us through his letter the importance of not giving up on or giving in to ourselves. When we come away from this epistle, we better understand that perseverance does not mean that we maintain a stubborn and willful attitude before all, asking that everyone else in the room change before we do; rather, it means that we are as ardent in our remaining open to possibilities as our enemies remain closed to them. It means that we take up the obstacles on our path to examine them and ourselves in an effort to see what we might change about our attitudes. It means that we look at the things and people and events that make us uncomfortable to see what cages these are against our own growth.
2 Peter urges that we enter into each day with a new passion as we seek Christ. The writer insists on hoping that the future holds great promise and that all these promises will be fulfilled. He warns us, he pushes us, he tells us that scoffers of the second coming abound . . . but that it is the faithful who will be affirmed in their eager devotion to Christ.
Peter has been through the fire and he well knows the heat. He also knows the reward. I, for one, intend to re-read this letter as often as I must . . . until I begin to feel the warmth of this flame.
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