Remember the parable of the ten bridesmaids? Five of them were foolish and five were wise- Matthew 25 v 1-13. We were talking yesterday in the morning house group about hope and that the hope for the Christian is existential, unmoved by global or personal crisis. I asked what the difference was between the wise and the foolish bridesmaids. The answer promptly came back that the wise had oil in their lamp, they were prepared for the bridegroom's sudden appearance at midnight. We then discussed what this oil would be in terms of living as a Christian with the possibility that Christ could return at any moment. Peter gives his readers the answer: no, it wasn't to quit jobs and go and sit on a mountainside as some of the believers in Thessalonica were-2 Thessalonians 3 v 7-but to keep your oil lamps trimmed by persisting in prayer, showing DEEP love for other believers, using your home hospitably. Simple and straightforward? In one way, yes, but just with anything involving the new Law of Love instead of the old covenant of Moses, it never stops: obedience to this Law is 24-7, we are called to love until it hurts and then love more! All through the centuries, Christians have waited expectantly for Christ's imminent return and yet, two thousand years since Peter wrote this letter, He still hasn't returned to usher in a new world order. Why is that not so? There are plenty of reasonable answers to this, but I would just say that the amazing thing is that two millennia since Jesus Christ announced the start of Jubilee, when God hold His hands out to embrace the world rather than to punish it, Jubilee continues and for all of us we have much to be thankful for, as that has given us the opportunity to use the gift of faith God gives to all who will come and to enter into the Kingdom. Pray that God will continue to stay His hand for the sake of those not yet of faith in your family and friends. Anyone who would like to know more about the year of Jubilee and its Old Testament roots please email me and I will send you a fuller summary.
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