Day 283

Jeremiah 14:11-16:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:10-3:13; Psalm 80:1-19; Proverbs 25:1-5

Do Not Despair

For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. – 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

Old Testament prophetic calls to repentance and holiness typically came with the hope and promise of some future victory. The restoration of faithfulness in Israel led to victory over enemies and the restoration of God’s people to peace, prosperity, and/or their land, as in today’s passage from Jeremiah. We can easily identify with such calls when we observe the wanton sin and avarice of our own time and worry over the decline of our culture. So much of our temporal lives agree with that basic theme: things would get better if we could simply behave as God commands.

Yet do not despair. Christian hope is different. In the New Testament, we discover the Kingdom of God has arrived in Jesus Christ. His mere presence changed history just as He changed our calendar. His victory over sin (on the Cross) and death (His Resurrection) is complete. This does not end our call to holiness, but we respond in thanksgiving, relief, and love for what has already been done. The Kingdom into which we are called is not merely a future hope. It is here—not yet complete, but here. We are to live in it now and behave accordingly. So do.

What is true for the Church is true in our own hearts. Do not despair that the Lord has not fixed everything broken within you. Trust that His victory is won for you. Your ultimate perfection is not yet complete, but He is here with you right now working on it. AMEN!

The Rev. Canon Tim Nunez
Diocese of Central Florida
Orlando, FL