Inspired by 2 Peter 3:1-10
“This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you; in them I am trying to arouse your sincere intention by reminding you that you should remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken through your apostles.” 2 Peter 3:1-2 (NRSV)
God has acted in certain ways in the past, and has spoken words directed to specific people in specific circumstances. But we don’t see God doing the same things today as he did in ancient times, and our circumstances have changed a great deal since the days of the patriarchs, the prophets, and Jesus. It’s easy to dismiss the biblical witness as being irrelevant to our own cultural contexts.
But even though our contexts have changed and some of the words God spoke so long ago no longer directly apply to our own situations, those words and actions are still part of our inherited tradition. That history helps to inform who we are by reminding us of where we came from. How God has acted in the past points us to how we can recognize his activity in the present.
Much of the bible is specific to a time and a culture that no longer exist, but it still reveals much about the God who is active in our lives today. Familiarize yourself with the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets, and with the commandments of our Lord and Savior as related by his apostles. While the mechanics of civil society and social norms have changed, the principles of love, justice, and mercy are applicable to all times, places, and people.
Let us pray. Eternal Lord, you have been active in your people’s lives throughout history. Help us to recognize your activity in the past and in the present, that we may live in hope for your future. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.