Psalm 126 / Isaiah 19:18-25 / 2 Peter 1:2-15
By Fr. Chris Linebarger
2 Peter 1:2-15
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
For the Son of God became man, that we might become God.— St. Athanasius
God said to this hairless monkey, "get on with it, become a god."— C. S. Lewis
Confession time. For most of my life, I've been a walking contradiction. While I've been committed to the Christian Faith since I was nine years old, so much of formal religion has not made sense to me. Ideas like penal substitutionary atonement, the wrath of God, election of certain individuals to a place called Heaven, eternal conscious torment for all the rest in a place called Hell.... I acquiesced to the idea that these theologies were correct, but I knew in my soul that something was profoundly wrong with the whole system.
During my teens and early twenties, I was able to keep the nagging questions at bay, but by the time I hit thirty, I'd had enough. A crisis of faith nearly sent me into a nervous breakdown. I hit rock bottom. This was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
Long-story short. I slowly began to rebuild my faith based on what the Holy Scriptures were actually teaching: that God created us in his image. He loves everything he's made and hates nothing he's made. We were destined to become like Christ. All of us. What he is by nature, we become by grace. This is the purpose of Jesus coming. To uplift humanity to its rightful place. Why is it rightful? Because God chose us.
That's Good News. That's what Advent and Christmas are all about. Love came down at Christmas so, as St. Peter tells us, "we may become partakers of the divine nature." This is my destiny. This is your destiny. Now let's go live like this is true.