Prepare to Listen. Light the first two purple candles and pray: Lord, I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvellous for me.
Prayerfully Read 2 Peter 3:8-15a
8 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. 9 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. 10 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.
11 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, 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. 14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.
What sort of people ought we to be? Perhaps this is one of the most important questions for us today. Peter’s answer is: “in leading lives of holiness and godliness,” two terms that basically say the same thing. There is a story in Judaism, writes Halík, that “the existence of a certain number of hidden righteous people is what holds the world together” . Peter seems to suggest something similar when he says holiness and godliness will hasten the coming of the day of God. So, what does it mean to live in holiness, godliness?
Too often holiness has negative connotations, attributed to those with a holier-than-thou attitude, who make us feel bad. But that’s not what Peter has in mind. Rowan Williams suggests that “the Christian idea of holiness is to do with going where it’s most difficult, in the name of Jesus who went where it was most difficult. He wants us to be holy like that” . Holiness is a result of a life focused on the Holy God, taken up with God’s extreme greatness and getting involved in his world. Williams concludes, “If you want to be holy, look at God. If you want to be holy, enjoy God’s world, enter into it as much as you can in love and in service” .
What sort of life ought we to live? How will you respond today?
Respond to Jesus
Lord Jesus you call us to be a people of holiness and godliness in a world that is often opposed to that. Help me today to get involved where I can in acts of love and service to others, focusing on you, rather than on myself. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world in lives of holiness and godliness.
 Halík, T. The Night of the Confessor. New York, NY: Image Books, 2012, p. 171.
 Williams, R. Being Disciples. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016, p. 50
 Williams, 2016, p. 55.
I am convinced that reading the Christian Bible is essential for our Christian spiritual nourishment. I speak from experience, over 60 years of experience. I also believe we'll never get bored reading the Bible over and over. Each time I read it, I learn something new. Read with me during Advent and learn to wait for Christ with heart and mind alert for his coming. The readings draw on my background of study and teaching the Bible for over 30 years.