When I was a young-adult/new-believer and heard people wish for Jesus to hurry up and come again, I would think Not yet! I want to get married, have kids, experience life! Wait until I really grow up please Jesus. Even in my early twenties I was aware this was a misguided and self-centered thought, but it came none the less.
I want to say it is the state of the world that has changed my perspective; but I know the world has always been an unstable, broken place. I’m just aware of it on a deeper level. Now, when my children and I are on our way to school/work and we’re praying, I often say Come Lord, Jesus. Just come. I think of guns and schools, the extreme poverty and hunger in much of the world, slavery, the subjugation of women, oppression and violence that cause people to flee their homeland – and on and on. And I just want Jesus to come now and dry every eye. I want Him to proclaim good news to the poor, to bind the wounds of the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for prisoners. (Isaiah 61:1)
1 Peter is a call to holy, compassionate living in times of darkness.
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'” (1 Peter 3:8-12)
The darkness is not going away. Until Jesus comes again with complete deliverance, justice and salvation, we are given a charge. We must love, be compassionate and humble, not repay evil, keep our tongue from evil, seek peace and pursue it. We must be the light and not add to the darkness.
“We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19)
2 Peter looks ahead to Jesus’ return. After reminding us of our calling as believers, he reminds us why we wait.
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9)
When my kids and I are praying in the morning for Jesus to come, we end this way:
Until You come with Your power and light to remove the darkness, help us today to be brilliant vessels of Your love, Your justice, Your mercy and Your goodness.