Tuesday of the Second-Last Week

Today's Reading: 2 Peter 3:3-14

Daily Lectionary: Daniel 2:1-23; Revelation 18:1-24

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you told your friends that Jesus is coming back someday, they might laugh at you (sometimes even if they're Christians). The Bible says the Lord will return. But where is He? The people who laugh at and mock Christians for believing such a thing are the exact reason why the Lord is holding off. He wants them to be saved, too. He wants them to hear His Word and be brought to faith by the Holy Spirit.

The Lord hasn't returned yet because He continues to work through His Church. The Church throughout the world is confessing for the world the saving Gospel of Jesus. The Church bears witness to repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus' Name. She baptizes, absolves, preaches, teaches and welcomes Christ in her midst in His Body and Blood.

Some days, when we look around at this awful world and see the sadness and confusion and suffering and darkness, it makes us cry out for the Lord to return. Have no doubt that He will! After all, He promised He would. Just as He promised his disciples He would suffer and die and He did. Just as He promised them that He would rise the third day and He did. Just so, He promises He will return in glory and take us to be with Him forever.

But Jesus also promises that He will be with us now, in this world, in the midst of this suffering and sadness. He promises He is here now in His Church, where His pastors comfort us with His Word and absolve us and feed us with Christ Himself. In Christ's Church we live, awaiting the fulfillment of His promise to return even while He continues to bring into His Church the lost and dying to give them life. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Wisely fight, for time is fleeting; The hours of grace are fast retreating; Short, short is this our earthly way. When the Lord the dead will waken And sinners all by fear are shaken, The saints with joy will greet that day. Praise God, our triumph's sure. We need not long endure Scorn and trial. Our Savior King His own will bring To that great glory which we sing. (Rise! To Arms! With Prayer Employ You, LSB 668:3)

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