Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 6 Year 1
“But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.” (Luke 21:18 – 19)
How can this be? Jesus is telling them, and us, “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.” And then he says, “But not a hair of your head will perish.” This sounds contradictory to me.
We all know our biological decay will play its hand. We are made to wear out. So whether our end comes by the hand or actions or other people (relatives or not) it inevitably comes. Jesus’ purpose is to inform us that we have an invitation to continue our book. Perhaps a better way to look at our earthly life is that of a preface or introduction to a book. After this life, the book itself goes on to eternity. We get to write our own preface/introduction.
In this passage from Luke, Jesus talks about sad endings to our mortal lives. But implicit in this prophetic message is the idea that should this happen, we are not to lose heart. And more than this, good people also have their earthly lives ended in accidents, in terminal illness, and in natural disasters like earth quakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. But we have the opportunity to go beyond these earthly endings. But how?
There is a clue in the second breath of Jesus’ sentence, “By your endurance you will gain your souls.” It seems Jesus is talking about something we call the after-life, the resurrection. This is the life after our mortal death. We however, must hold on to the belief that this day will come. All through the Christian Testament we are told of the importance of believing and the benefits of all who believe. So this begs the question; Will we come into the resurrection whether we believe or not? I don’t know. God knows. If we do, remember that the life we are living right now is our preface or introduction to the main book and has already been written, we wrote it. You are writing it now.
I believe two things. I believe that there are books in heaven that have no preface or introduction, yet they thrive; they are called infant and child angels. I also believe that there are empty books in heaven; books with prefaces and introductions but were not permitted to continue in heaven, they are called evildoers.
We want to live lives that will continue through all eternity. Remember, by your endurance you will gain your souls.
Thank You Jesus. John+