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Red Light

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21 NIV

Several years ago, while visiting my folks in Indiana, I drove my sister-in-law Lynn's Smart Car. I had ridden in it many times before (it's roomier and zippier than you would think), but this was my first time driving it. Leaving their business, I pulled up to the traffic light to cross over straight on the four-lane highway and waited for the light to change–and waited, then waited some more. The traffic had long breaks, but the light remained red. As I was beginning to think there was something wrong with the traffic signal, a larger and heavier vehicle pulled up next to me to turn right, and the light recognized the presence of another car and changed almost immediately. At last, I was able to cross over safely.

We wait in this oddly in-between place of Christ's resurrection and his return. Whether that is in his triumphant, sky-splitting, jubilant event, or we pass before, we are in a holding pattern. Like me sitting at the red light that day, we look on anxiously, hoping for the light to change to green–we're ready to go. 

But unlike my experience, waiting doesn't mean a lack of movement. There's so much to do. In our time of waiting, we are to increase our faith, encourage each other, pray, and trust in the mercies of Christ. Verse 22 also tells us that as Christ shows us mercy, we are to show mercy to others. We must help those in doubt, welcome others to wait with us, and reject evil, remaining pure. 

Jude closes with this prayer.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (1:25)


Pastor Tim

Note: Jude is only one chapter, twenty-five verses long. For context, I encourage you to read the whole letter, including the introduction.

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