“[God] is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because [God] doesn’t want anyone lost. [God’s] giving everyone space and time to change.”–2 Peter 3:9 (The Message)
As many of you know, since the election, the amount of hatred and evil seems to be running even more rampant in our world. I too often find myself crying out to God, “How long, Oh Lord? How long oh Lord? Will you forget us forever?” There are days that I simply want to hide away from it all. Yet God is persistent and won’t leave me alone. (Perhaps you too are feeling that persistence)
I have been listening intently to my native friends, my black/brown friends, my LGTBQ + friends, and my Muslim and Jewish friends. I find myself hearing the cries of their heart and wanting so deeply to atone for the sins we have committed against them.
How can we let this evil and hatred win? How can we stand up for what is right and good and pure? The truth is that too often we blame each other for our inactions. Too often, in the midst of the world’s commotion, the voices of those crying out in the wilderness are lost. So how can we hold all God’s beloved children accountable and make sure that love; God’s love ultimately wins as we hear EVERY voice that is crying out in the wilderness?
There are days I think we’ve made such a huge mess of this world that I wonder if God is looking down on us, shaking his head and praying that we can do better. Or have we made such a huge mess that God thinks that God needs to give us eternal time to change before God returns? And to be honest, I don’t blame God at all. For the truth is that we can do better, but will we?
Will we allow our hearts, ears, and minds to be opened to one another?
Will we atone for those sins that our ancestors committed before us?
Will we atone for those sins that our own generations are committing right in front of us?
Will we speak words of truth when hatred and evil are running rampant in this world?
Will be open to listening to all sides of an issue to help us understand where our opposing friends/family are coming from?
Will we change for the sake of the world and God’s love for ALL people?
In the birth of Jesus; the Messiah, God’s words are fulfilled. “For God so loved the world so much that God sent God’s only begotten son into the world so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. God did not send God’s son into the world to condemn the world, but in order to save it.”–John 3:16-17
I don’t know about you, but there are days that I feel like the world is being condemned because we haven’t loved our neighbors as ourselves and because we haven’t atoned for the sins we have committed. Yet in time and space, I trust that God will come again to judge the living and the dead as we learn to grow and change ourselves.
The question is, “Are we willing to change? Are we willing to let God use us to be transformed and to transform the world?” Or is it too late?