Wow!   What an amazing thing.  We have arrived at the year of our Lord 2013 and the world has not exploded or been taken over by aliens or even just ceased to exist the way some were forecasting.   I always find it interesting when someone thinks they know more then Christ did when he walked this earth.

So, since the earth did not come to an end, what are we supposed to do?  That was very much what was on the minds of the early Christians when Jesus didn’t return as soon as they all had supposed he would.

Those early Christians were dispersed all over the known world by persecution and they were encouraged by the apostles to continue in faith.  The first letter of Peter in the New Testament is written to the exiles of the Dispersion.  Peter encourages them to live in hope and live a holy life.  That is the same encouragement I give to you.

I and II Peter are filled with points on how to live in hope and live holy.  You will find words there that you have heard me speak almost every first Sunday.  “ You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood.”  As such we live as servants to each other and shining examples of God’s marvelous light.  Read these words carefully and then try to live them.

The letter of Jude is another story completely.  Here we are warned of those who have stolen in among us to destroy our faith, or at least pervert it.  They are the scoffers, the ones who slander whatever they don’t understand.

The problem here is that walking in faith is not the same as walking in understanding.  A perfect example of this is the recent uproar about the Mayan calendar seeming to end on Dec. 22, 2012.  That is the way it seemed and the people that thought they understood it jumped to conclusions.

However, if anyone would have thought to watch the actions of the descendants of the Mayans, they would have seen something totally different.  They were preparing for a new beginning.  They faith had instructed them that the calendar did not end, it recycled, began anew.  What a concept!

Our faith instructs us that the Lord Jesus Christ will return and must find us living holy lives of service in anticipation of that return.  That includes remembering that   “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts, who cause divisions.”  We must build each other up and pray, keeping ourselves in the love of God and looking forward to that which has been promised.  Read I & II Peter and Jude and Happy New Year everyone.