#rendtheheavens Day 13

Day 13: DISCOMFORT

2 Peter 3: 11-13 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12 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? 13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Peter’s got a problem with run-on sentences (or, perhaps it’s the translators of the NRSV that can’t find a good place for a period. The CEB is better.).

What sort of persons ought you to be?

That’s the question here, but it’s buried under all this apocalyptic roughage.

Since all these things are to be dissolved…

…the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved…

…the elements will melt with fire…

…hastening the coming Day of God…

What sort of people should you be in the midst of all this dissolution and destruction?

If you’re waiting on a new heaven and a new earth, places where righteousness will be at home, what kind of people should you be?

Does the current apocalyptic state of things excuse unholy behavior?

According to Peter, it does not.

Does the current apocalyptic dissolution make expediency or compromise any more acceptable?

According to Peter, it does not.

Does the fact that the earth is currently melting and the heavens are set ablaze give us license to set aside our commitments and our covenants?

According to Peter, it does not.

I think that tectonic shifts in the way we perceive reality can either clarify who we are or muddle it up. We can either become more of who we are or less.

When we are thrust into grief or anger or lament, we get to choose how to channel it. I have known people who choose to channel their grief into compassion, and I have known people who choose to channel their grief into antagonism. Openness or bitterness. Each is within reach.

According to Peter, even if the world is burning, we are called to be a certain kind of people – holy, godly, faithful, upholding the covenants we’ve made with god and with each other. Even if the world is dissolving. Even if the heavens are on fire.

So. I wonder: if the world is on fire, what covenants should I uphold? Am I stuck in some commitments that I wouldn’t make at the end of the world? Are there others that I would wish I had entered into? What kind of people ought we to be, in the face of everything on heaven and earth dissolving?

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