2 Peter 3:8–15a (NRSV)
8But 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.
9The 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. 10But 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.
11Since 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, 12waiting 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? 13But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. 14Therefore, 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. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
“The Lord is not slow about his promise … but is patient with you …” Here we are invited to reflect on what sort of God we have: a God whose sense of timing is different from ours, a God who keeps promises, a patient God—but also a God whose day comes in a surprising fashion, “like a thief.” While we usually fear thieves, an unwelcome and destructive interruption in our lives, God’s coming will bring new heavens and a new earth, “where righteousness is at home.” God’s coming brings something much better than what we have, and something we could never create ourselves. In this assurance—and in no other assurance—we are “found by him at peace.”
O Lord of time and space, we thank you that you are faithful to your promises. Grant us faith to trust that your coming brings us new possibilities. Amen.