Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 29, 2019
What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 1 Corinthians 15:36
We spend so much of our lives trying to protect and preserve the things we have. We seek to accumulate wealth, relationships, influence and power, and though we may in theory hold to a hope for future glory, so often it is our present and immediate reality that defines our hopes and joys. If you doubt this, just notice how quickly fear and anxiety emerge when any part of your current reality is threatened or vulnerable. When you receive news of a negative medical diagnosis, how does it shake your world? When the stock market tumbles and your investments plummet, is your heart filled with crippling fear? When a relationship is on the rocks does your sense of peace and stability crumble beneath you?
Though this life is filled with countless joys and gifts from God to be treasured and experienced to the full, it is still but a taste of the future glory we long to see. As Paul says, as different as a seed is to a towering tree, so too is this earthly body and life to the hope of the resurrection. However, he is not saying they are unrelated and therefore this present reality is to be dismissed or discarded.
The life you live right here, right now, is meant to prepare you and shape you for the life to come. As it is often said, we are meant to live now “in light of eternity”. And yet, we cannot cling to our present glory and simply hope it will seamlessly transfer over into the life to come. At times, to use a theological phrase, I wonder if we suffer from an “over-realized eschatology”, believing too fully we are already living our best life in the here and now. For much of human history, life was defined by sickness, constant pain, threat of violence, war, and famine. As such, it wasn’t hard to convince people to long for future glory! Yet in the age of modern medicine, technology, and consumer culture of the affluent West, we are so often insulated from the true nature of reality. We choose to believe a lie and deny the inevitability of our own death and decay and inability to save ourselves.
The Christian embrace of death and mortality is not defeatist or morbid but is rooted in the belief that through death God brings new life into being. The glory of the resurrection was only possible by walking the way of the cross. This was true for Jesus, and as those committed to following where he leads, it must be true for us as well.
Father, remind us daily of the future glory that is to come giving us the courage to live free from the love of our fleeting comforts and instead place our hopes fully upon you and your coming Kingdom. Amen.
How can you reassess your current reality in light of the glory that is to come?
The Christian embrace of death and mortality is not defeatist or morbid but is rooted in the belief that through death God brings new life into being. #wisdomhunters #lifeanddeath #Jesus
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