For our Monday devotionals through Advent we are using a resource called “Our Hope and Expectation: Devotions for Advent and Christmas.” Here is today’s devotional:

2 Peter 3:13-15
In accordance with [God’s] promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

To ponder
Christian community is not an ideal we have to realize, but rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate. The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our community is in Jesus Christ alone, the more calmly we will learn to think about our community and pray and hope for it. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

Waiting with the family of God
My two brothers and I loved sledding. We’d fling ourselves on our inner tubes and head down the hill in the backyard, squealing with glee. Inevitably, however, we’d start building snow forts - and if anyone messed up another’s creation, it wasn’t a pretty picture.

Community is like that. It’s fun and joyful and creative until … it’s not. Egos and pride, self-righteousness and simple misunderstandings get in the way faster than you can throw a snowball.

So we wait in hope for God’s kingdom to take over. Empowered by the Holy Spirit working within and among us, in a blessed community of sinners/saints, we seek to love as Christ loved us. We confess and forgive, practice vulnerability and trust, and humble surrender our egos for the sake of our siblings in Christ. We focus on the incredible gift that is life together, learning from, supporting, and encouraging one another in our faith journeys. Life together is the gift God has given - a diverse group of people drawn together from all backgrounds, experiences, cultures, races, ethnicities, genders, orientations , and so on - for the sake of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in our world.

Christ, you alone are our hope. May we celebrate and rejoice in the amazing gift of community you have given us to share in this good news! Amen.

From: “Our Hope and Expectation: Devotions for Advent and Christmas 2020-2021”, Augsburg Fortress 2020, p. 22-23.