Daily Office Readings for Friday of Easter Week: Year 1
“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever;” (Daniel 12: 2 and 3).
Here is some evidence perhaps, that there was some belief in an afterlife in the Hebrew Testament. It talks about those who “sleep” in the dust of the earth shall awake! Yes, I like hearing that. However, there is a caution also. Some will rise to everlasting life and some will rise to shame and everlasting contempt.
Paul alludes to this belief among the Pharisees as he defends himself in the Acts of the Apostles saying, “I have a hope in God—a hope that they themselves also accept—that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous;” (Acts 24:15). I believe every human soul will awake from the dead. I don’t believe every soul will be received into eternal life. Nor do I believe that a loving God will keep any of us in an eternal state of hell. Such an unrighteous one, I believe, would just cease to exist.
My beloved in the Lord, whether we sleep in the dust of the earth until the earth’s last day, or we are walking around when our Lord comes to us as we are still in this mortal life, we must be found living the best, most loving life we can live.
And now, the Book of Daniel leaves us with another sentence relevant for us today, the beginning of a Holy Sabbath; “But you, go your way, and rest; you shall rise for your reward at the end of the days’; (Daniel 12:13).
For this evening and tomorrow day my friends; Shabbat Shalom
Let us live to love, more than we just love to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John