Scripture: 2 Peter 1:1-11
Key verses: (3a, 10a) “His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness…therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call….”
Reflection: There’s a saying floating out there in the public domain: “Today is a gift. That’s why we call it The Present.” I know, I know. It’s worthy-of-an-eye roll-cheesy, but there’s actually an important encouragement wrapped up in the terrible pun. Just as we give gifts as an expression of love to dear ones in our own lives, the God who loves you dearly has given you this day. The moment you are living right now, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, is something sacred that you did not create, but have received.
The question almost immediately rises from such a staggering affirmation: so, what are you going to do with it? That can be an arresting question. It is almost too big to consider. We can easily become overwhelmed with the call to steward the gift of our lives, and as a result, become inert in the present day waiting for the grand thing we were put on this earth to carry out to become clear to us…sometime in the future. Maybe someday we will know what our “true” vocation is. Maybe one of these days we will hear a voice from the heavens offering a detailed plan to execute, to the glory of God. Maybe next year we will have enough time, or enough money, or enough wisdom to live out the gospel. Maybe sometime soon we’ll have something to offer.
Planning for the future is a wonderful, prudent thing to do, but the writer of 2 Peter urges us to recognize the value of the present moment. He begins his letter by reminding his readers that we’ve been “given everything needed for life and godliness” — here and now. We don’t have to wait to start serving God. We don’t have to get better, or more spiritual, or more well-read, or more able-bodied to live in a way that honors the gift of life we’ve received from God’s hand. There’s no better time to start than now.
If you sometimes feel overwhelmed by what you might do to reflect God’s love in your living, start small. Who, today, can you treat with greater kindness? To whom, today, can you offer a word of encouragement? Who, in your everyday path, might benefit from a little graciousness? What patient, client, cashier, child, neighbor, stranger, or friend will receive the message of God’s love for them from you today simply because you offered them respect, or time, or understanding?
Today’s the day, and you are called. And as one of my favorite preachers loves to say, God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.
Prayer: Dear God, I am grateful for the gift of life today. Give me boldness to be a living sign of your love, O God, in my own little corner of your creation, for that is where you have called me. And when I feel enticed to procrastinate, send your Spirit to gently awaken me to the present moment, and the abundance of your call in it. Amen.
Author: Anna Dickson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].