Pastor Hans Fiene
Matins Devotion: December 6, 2022
When you look out at a world of perversion and cruelty and God isn’t raining sulfur down from heaven, it’s easy to despair. It’s easy to fear that He doesn’t care about us or has no interest in keeping His promises. It’s easy to worry that He doesn’t even exist. After all, if you had the power to make a holy and pure world for your children, you’d do it. If you had the power to stop those who were corrupting and devouring your sons and daughters, you would.
But what if your sons and daughters were the ones doing the corrupting? Would your judgment be as swift? Or would you be patient, seeking to bring salvation instead of judgment to those who were more precious to you than anything in the universe?
So it is with our Lord and His children. So it is with our Lord and you. As St. Peter tells us in our second reading today, the Lord may look slow to fulfill His promises according to our limited human eyes. But He is not slow. He’s patient, not wishing that you or anyone else should perish, but desiring that you and every other sinner should hear His word, come to repentance, put down their guns, put down their sins, and run into His arms through faith.
So the Lord’s patience is not slowness. Likewise, the Lord’s patience is not weakness. It’s salvation. It’s mercy and love and compassion. When this world burns with violence and cruelty, your God is not waiting to pour out His judgment because He’s afraid to act. He’s waiting for the right moment to act, waiting because He still wants to wrap even the vilest of sinners in His arms and call them His children, which means He wants to do that for you.
“Count the patience of our Lord as salvation,” Peter tells us. And when we do, this hideous and cruel world begins to look far more beautiful. What a beautiful site it is when the world that deserves to be consumed by fire from heaven isn’t yet burning because God still wants us to rescue us from the fire of judgment with the waters of baptism. What a beautiful thing to behold when wickedness thrives, because it means the Savior of the wicked is not done saving–not done saving them, and not done saving you.