First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming?” - 2 Peter 3:3-4
I would say it is a fair assessment that in the years I’ve lived, I’ve encountered my fair share of scoffers. Whether within my own family, my circle of friends, people in jobs I’ve had or in the churches I’ve belonged to, there are always those who (to use a seasonal analogy) come across a little more Scrooge and a lot less Tiny Tim.
And believe me, I get it. The world and those of us in it make it incredibly easy to become jaded, cynical, protective, selfish, and decidedly unjoyful. It would be incredibly easy to be among the scoffers.
Especially these days. Don’t even get me started.
So, instead, I try to focus on the positive and the joyful. The other stuff is still there, and I know it. Do I need to immerse myself neck-deep in it all the time? No, indeed I do not. Yet, knowing that the darkness is out there any given day at any given moment keeps us in an Advent spirit all year long. Advent being the season of preparation for the arrival of God’s spirit among us, while we are reminded of it each year these weeks it is rather a perpetual state of being that is with us all the time.
We must always be preparing, always getting ourselves ready, always aware that the days of the scoffers are numbered and there is something better on its way. This in and of itself keeps one in a more positive, optimistic, and hopeful spirit. The scoffers can make it easy to lose heart, to lose faith, and to lose hope. Advent comes around to remind us that doesn’t have to be the way of things.
So, let the scoffers do their scoffing thing. They deceive no one but themselves. We know something better is coming. Indeed, something better is already here. We’re constantly in readiness for it. Let us receive it, and then let us live it. Then we will be the answer to the scoffers’ question about the promise of his coming.
God Who Loves Us, grant us the wisdom and the patience not to be deterred in our tasks of faith by those who would scoff at the difficult realities of life. Rather, let us be the answer to their inquiry by being agents of your joyful spirit in a difficult world.