11Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
14Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. 17You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. ~ 2 Peter 3:11-18
I know I don't need to tell you today is World AIDS Day. I share Sting's haunting "Hounds of Winter" because it is about the loss of the beloved in this season of growing cold and darkness. The selection from 2 Peter is one of today's lectionary readings (you can find them here, every day). I find its emphasis on waiting for the coming day of God to be so beautiful, so refreshing... we wait, not cowering in our bunkers with our five years' supply of canned goods and water filled with fear (as some would have us wait). Rather, we wait at peace, striving to be kind to one another. We live in stability, not anxiety (can I get an amen there?). We wait, hoping to grow in grace and knowledge.
So much of this speaks to our attitude as a society towards those who are struggling with AIDS, or with sexual identity, or with the private violence that plagues their lives. We strive to offer this peace, this kindness, this stability. We wait for the day of God in the same way we live: hoping, day by day, to grow in grace and knowledge. I can get behind that.