On the communion table sits a glass (a mason jar) of water, half empty . . . or maybe it’s half full. Are you the type that sees “half empty” or “half full”?

This week’s message is the second half of last week’s message and the same text, 2 Peter 3:1-13. In verse 8, Peter writes, “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise….”

What promise? We know that Jesus is the Promise and the Promised Seed, and Peter just mentioned “the promise of his parousia (effective presence).”

He continues in verse 9, “The Lord is patient toward you, not willing that any should be lost.” In verse 11, he writes, “Since all things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the elements (your body is made of elements) will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth in which Righteousness dwells.”

“Righteousness” means “right-ness.” Can you imagine? Perhaps, in moments.

Sitting on my father’s lap as a child, held tight to his chest (his “bosom”), the judgments of all others, including myself, would dissolve in the presence of my father and his judgment: “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” In that moment, everything seemed to be right. Then, I tried to grow up, that is, justify myself (make myself right).

In moments of communion with my bride, I have suddenly realized, “I’m more than just myself; I’ve lost myself and found myself happy. Everything is right.” But if I try to capture those moments, I lose those moments.

Once in 1991, driving a van full of sweaty high school kids down a dirt road in Mexico, listening to music and singing along, I suddenly realized, “Everything is right.” These moments often happen to the sound of music, as if each one is suddenly caught up in something bigger than anyone, and everyone finds themselves in one great dance. It’s like heaven shows up all around me, or I become a world in which righteousness dwells.

Once, I was literally held to the floor by the Spirit of God . . . or exalted to heaven, I’m not sure. But I saw that the Lord was everywhere and everywhen loving me. I have never felt so alive, and yet I thought to myself, “I’m going to die.” This bag of dust cannot bear such a weight of glory. I’ve wanted to repeat the experience but can’t seem to make it happen. So, “I wait for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

My Body (and my psychikos body, my soulish body) exists in the sixth day, with the seventh day (when “it is finished” and “everything is good”) hidden in the holy place in the temple of my heart. “In that day,” cries the angel in Revelation 10:6, “Time (chronos) will be no more.” “In those days,” prophesies Amos, “The plowman shall overtake the reaper.” That means that the moment of death becomes the moment of resurrection; the moment of emptying becomes the moment of filling.

That day is what God has done, and it exposes what we have done apart from God — that is, nothing. This old heaven and earth must be an empty form of an eternal heaven and earth, and this old self must be an empty form of a forever new and eternal self. It seems to “me” that Scripture is saying that there is only “I am” and “I am not.” So, what is “Peter Hiett”?

Apart from “child of God,” perhaps the best answer is “a vessel” — kind of like the one sitting on the communion table. You can think of the emptiness in the jar as the evil and the water in the jar as the Good, as righteousness. Paul claims that Jesus is “our Righteousness.”

Is that (are you) half empty or half full?

There are those who only see “the empty,” and you can grow a really big church by only seeing the empty. These folks love to tell you what’s wrong and then how to make it right. They don’t like miracles — real miracles — for they are obviously something that we cannot simply “do.” Well… If all you know is the empty, you really don’t know the empty, for you’ve never known the full, and so you can’t actually be thirsty. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.”

There are those who only see “the full,” and you can grow a really big church by only seeing the full. These folks focus on what’s right and then tell you that if you’re not experiencing the right, something’s wrong with you. And then they’ll tell you how to convince yourself that everything is right even if it looks and feels wrong, and they call this “faith.” Well… if all you know is the full, you really don’t know the full, for you have never allowed yourself to experience the empty, and so you can’t hunger and thirst for righteousness, and perhaps you can’t be “blessed” until you do.

The glass isn’t half full OR half empty; the glass is half full AND half empty. Both are true — full and empty — but not in the same way. The full is eternal reality and that which God has done. The empty is temporal, and that which we have done, which is a nothing that we have imagined to be a something… like a bad dream. A dream isn’t really real, and yet if you dream that you are dying of thirst, you will enjoy a drink that much more upon waking.

In the seventh day, we will have knowledge of empty, but always be full. So perhaps our “blessedness” will be that we will continually thirst for righteousness and continually drink righteousness, always full and never empty but always drinking and always being satisfied.

Like every newborn baby, Adam was a little earthen vessel filled to the brim with Life. But he could not find his “Helper” who was with him. God is our “Helper.” God put Adam to sleep. And God arranged for Adam (male and female) to encounter the father of lies, our false father, in front of the tree in the middle of the garden.

You are Adam. The garden is in your soul. The tree is also known as the cross. On it, like fruit, hangs our Righteousness: The Good in flesh and The Life — The Promise, The Seed.

At the prompting of the false father, Adam took the fruit attempting to justify himself and only produced a false self — emptiness in himself. Picture a larger earthen vessel in which the Breath of God, the Life of God, the Promised Seed of God is now trapped. This is the first death: sin.

According to the plan of our true Father, the Promised Seed has been planted in the soil of our hearts where it is germinated by the Word and sprouts as faith, hope, and love, which draws us back to the tree where we see that what we have taken has always been given — forgiven. The Lord breaches the vessel of wrath from the inside out and the outside in. He fills us with himself such that the form of our emptiness becomes the form of his fullness. Love is who he is and what he does, and so we lose ourselves and find ourselves. We give life and receive life — the Life flowing through every vessel from the bosom of the father and back again as praise. Every vessel of wrath becomes a vessel of Mercy — a blood vessel — in the body of Christ, such that for every vessel, bleeding is no longer pain but the joy of Life; every moment of emptying is the moment of filling. This is the second death, the death of death, a river of eternal Life: Grace.

In season three of The Umbrella Academy, there’s a wonderful scene in which Reginald (the father), trains one of his children (Klaus) how to use his superpower — a superpower that feels like a curse. Klaus sees dead people, and dying, he doesn’t die. Reginald plays ball with Klaus on a highway where Klaus gets hit by cars, dies, and then revives. But the duration of time between death and resurrection, emptying and filling, keeps shrinking until it reaches zero. At which time, Reginald says, “Now you’re ready!” He takes Klaus to a graveyard where Klaus faces all his fears — fears that had kept him in bondage to death all of his “life.” (Scripture says that “through death,” Christ destroyed the one who has “the power of death,” the one who keeps us in lifelong bondage through “the fear of death.”)

Just when it seems that Klaus is being overwhelmed by ghosts, he stands, and a brilliant Light bursts from his bosom. The darkness cannot overcome it but dissolves in unmitigated glory as Reginald says to Klaus, “Aren’t you a miracle.”

It’s Father’s Day. I think that’s what your Father wants you to know: You are a miracle; you are His beloved son (male and female) in whom He is well pleased.

“What sort of people ought you to be?” asks Peter. I think our Father wants us to have courage. Sure… he kills people, but they don’t stay dead, for he has planted the Resurrection in the soil of their hearts like a seed — an imperishable Seed. “I am the Resurrection,” said Jesus.

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