I’d bet you have thought that exact thing about someone this year. It is a saying that had way more meaning to us as children when we longed for December to come so we could leave school behind, get presents and play in the snow. But alas, time would drag by and August felt like a year to us!
Children take this way of framing time into adulthood. From time to time we either are designated as “slow as Christmas” or we give that illustrious title to others. Speed up, hurry along, and get going because you/we are holding others up!
The greatest sin in life today seems to be going slowly. We don’t drive slowly. We don’t move slowly in the supermarket with our push carts. We throw away slow computers and change internet providers if a faster one is available. We primarily eat fast food because slow food is for suckers. If friends are too slow, we leave them behind because we are going places. We reject slow at all costs and think that is the way to get ahead in life. If you are slow in life, you’re likely alone most of the time because the crowd has left you behind. Slow is stupid, old school and boring.
We are especially uninterested in a God who is slow. But that is how He comes. Slow as Christmas. And we can hardly stand it sometimes.
This Advent passage (2 Peter 3:8-15) reminds us that God operates on a longer time frame than humanity, but is, nonetheless, working from the same agenda that we do. God and all His children in Christ are at work bringing salvation to the world. It is slowly making its way through the centuries capturing all who repent and believe, and chasing those who are pushing ahead and running through life. Unfortunately, many of us are too busy and going too fast to catch a glimpse.
And while the world is busy chasing it addictions and obsessions, something wonderful sneaks up on us. Not in a spooky or creepy way, but in a real way. In a beautiful way. In a “Jesus way.”
Just when we think God is too slow to match up with our lives and schedules, we find that He has managed to catch up. In reality we sense that maybe He was there all of our lives – even longer – but we just didn’t notice.
When we were chasing life as fast as we could, He was there.
When we were pursuing that pretty girl/boy in romance and sexual desire, He was there.
When we were making money and climbing the ladder, He was there.
When we were high on ourselves and clueless to everything/everybody around us, He was there.
When we were “playing church” and fooling them all, He was there.
When we were devastated by the events of life and sure nobody cared, He was there.
He was there. Patiently waiting and working. Lovingly letting us try it all, but hoping we would develop a taste for life in His kingdom. Saving us. Keeping us. Helping us along. He was there. And He is here even now. Still waiting. Still longing. Still hoping. Still saving. That is who He is. That is why He came. That is why He will keep coming again and again.
God is not slow. He is at work. He works in patient, deliberate ways so that the work He is doing meets us at the most critical point in our life. Don’t be fooled into thinking He is absent, and don’t be tempted to try and run. His promise will prevail, and our best work will be wasted. Our world will pass away, but Christmas proclaims that His kingdom is never-ending.
He ain’t slow. He’s our savior.
Advent 2 / 2 Peter 3:8-15 / December 2014
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.