Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday in Advent 3

2 Peter 2:10b-16
It's hard to pick a verse from this passage. The angry diatribe that began yesterday is in full swing today. "Accursed children!" the writer calls those he is railing against.

I share with you today, rather than my own thoughts, some from the Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, a priest of the Church of England and a physicist, who has written extensively on science and faith. He also has a little book of Advent & Christmas meditations. Here are some words he has to say about judgment:

Judgment is not imposed arbitrarily from without, but we experience it from within because it centers on our reaction to reality, our response to the way that things truly are. Confronted with reality--including the reality of who we are and what we have done--we can either turn towards the light, accepting the painful fact of evil done as the first step through which we may begin to be changed and conformed to the holy reality of God's will; or we can turn away from the light into the darkness of ourselves, as we cling to the delusion that there is nothing really the matter with us.

Understood in this way as an opening up to the truth, judgment is a hopeful word. Reality may be painful, and we may only be able to bear a little of it at a time, but facing it is the only possible route to true fulfillment. There is no future in illusion.

The book of meditations is called Living with Hope: A Scientist looks at Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany

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