We don’t usually think about who invented what. In fact, we often don’t really remember that there was an inventor; we tend to think that something always was. This occurred to me recently when I read that Dorcas Reilly had died. You might not have heard of her – I hadn’t – but I know her work. Dorcas was written up in the New York Times obituary section because she was the inventor of the green bean casserole. Like me, you probably never asked yourself, “Who did invent the green bean casserole?” Now you know. Church potluck dinners have never been the same since.
There are all kinds of things that didn’t exist until someone invented them. Norman Brinker was credited with inventing the first salad bar in his Florida restaurant. It was improved upon when Johnny Garneau invented the ‘sneeze guard’ a few years later. There are so many things we take for granted in our world that it’s hard to remember a time when they didn’t exist.
In his second letter, Peter tells his readers that there are those who deny God as creator because they believe the world has always been this way. To them, there is no God who created or intervenes in our world, but Peter writes: “They conveniently forget that long ago all the galaxies and this very planet were brought into existence out of watery chaos by God’s word.” (2 Peter 3:5)
Peter goes on to say that because there was a beginning, there will also be an end. Some people see history as simply spiralling around, but it is actually heading to a final point. The God who started all things will put an end to all things: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” (2 Peter 3:10-11)
Just as surely as God created the world, he will one day send Jesus back into the world to bring all things to a conclusion. Therefore, according to Peter, we always need to be ready. This is an incentive for holy living. Make each day count. Live for Jesus and be found ready when he returns.