Monday, December 05, 2005

Patience means Salvation

Peter talks about God's patience in his second known letter to the Church.

He says that God is patient and not desiring that any should perish (3:9).

Then after a brief description of the terrible nature of the end times Peter urges the followers of Christ to strive to be spotless with the reminder that "our Lord's patience means salvation" (3:15).

I want to dig into this a bit more. Because at first blush it looks like Peter is saying that because of God's patience salvation comes to us.

I ask these following questions.

With what is God being patient? Followers of the Way? The Second Coming? non-followers?

Does his patience always mean salvation?

By salvation does Peter mean entrance into eternal life?

Could grace or mercy or love be inserted where "patience" is found? Could it be said that God's grace means salvation, that God's love means salvation, that God's mercy means salvation?

If God's patience means salvation, what does that say of our patience? Does our patience bear a potency like Hers?

If our patience means salvation, what does that look like?

Does that mean when I am patient with a child, that I am creating space for salvation? Obviously, the only person who can accept salvation for me is me. Others (as our friend Morpheous from the Matrix says) can only show us the door. So, when we are patient with others, perhaps we are showing people the door to salvation. First by granting them grace to screw up. Second by continuing in their life and not abandoning them. Third by modeling the way of salvation, the life of God.

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