Daily Office Readings for Saturday 2 March 2019
“So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.” (2 Cor. 4:16)
There is an existence beyond this existence. We all live in and discern this material world now. But this is not the ultimate reality. The next existence will be an eternal existence! We have all heard it said that as soon as we are born we begin the death process. It sounds morbid, but there is much truth to it. These bodies are divinely designed to wear out. I figured out in seminary that the most important work I was going to do as a priest is to conduct funerals for the faithful. The leading theme of the Christian funeral is the Resurrection! Every funeral in the Episcopal Church is an Easter Service. Whether he or she was remembered as good or bad they have left this existence. What God does with them is far beyond my range of knowledge. This truly is where we must “walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7 also part of today’s reading)
St Paul says that as our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. But I don’t think it does it by itself. I believe we must put forth effort to try and be better people in the here and now. We are building our next bodies.
“For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:17-18) This is Paul again prophesying about our next life. “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Cor. 5:1 also part of today’s reading) Please pardon me here Paul but there is only one small modification I would suggest here and that is the word “if.” You see, it is not “if” these bodies are destroyed… it is “when” these bodies are destroyed or just quit living as we know it. It is then that we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. But we need to be sending the body building material on ahead of us so that that new body will be waiting for us. We do this by living more loving and godly lives in this life every day.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.