But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.
2 Peter 3: 8-14
Perhaps today’s lesson is to pay attention to time. Perhaps we are being reminded to pay attention to today ~ to this day. How can a thousand years be like a day and a day like a thousand years?
We’ve all experience a moment when times stood still, haven’t we? This moment in our lives when everything else dropped away and we were wholly and totally present. It was as if nothing else mattered in the world, nothing except this one moment.
I remember one such moment, it was the morning of my parent’s 50th anniversary. It was one the hardest times of my life. Dad was staying at an Assisted Living facility, as a result of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Mom had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and had just begun radiation treatment. Sam was 2 ½, and he and I went over to Dad’s to get him ready for the big day. I remember my heart was aching as Sam and I walked into Dad’s room to give him a shower and get him dressed. All I could do was the next thing.
After I’d gotten Dad showered and dressed, I remember feeling as though I was robotically going through what needed to be done. Sam was sitting on the counter by the sink, and I was trying to give Dad a shave. Somehow Dad and Sam got to giggling. I honestly don't know who made "the face" for whom ~ Sam for Dad or Dad for Sam. But one did for the other and that was all it took. Time stood still in that moment. In the midst of such deep angst….was life...and giggling. For Dad and Sam….and for me.
I don’t know what the writer of 2 Peter means by “the heavens set ablaze and dissolve,” but in that one moment I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For me in that deep, deep grief light entered in and there was a healing and holy presence that held all the world. I knew it to be true, because it had come into that little tiny bathroom and brought Joy to the World ~ one giggle at a time.
Breath Prayer: “bring us, Loving God” “your peace”
Holy One, you enter into our darkest moments and bring light so that we might begin again to see. In this Advent season, may our hearts be open to receive your hope that comes when we least expect it and need it the most. As we receive your gifts, may we in turn share it with others as they have needs. Use us, we pray to being hope to others around us. And we are ever thankful. Amen.
believes in beginnings and beginning again, in holding on and letting go, in God's presence as close as our next breath. Lesley works as a hospice Bereavement Coordinator in Atlanta. She is an ordained minister in the UCC and has just completed her second book, "Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon in 29 Days" (to be released early in 2015).