Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 3: Year 1
“Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God;” (2nd Corinthians 4: 15).
This is so true, we need the Lord’s grace in order to show more and more people that they only have their being through God in Christ Jesus. In this way, hopefully, more and more people will be thankful for that forgiving and merciful grace.
I often ponder about life after death. I know that I didn’t have to be. But I am. I do exist. I have come to realize that I have an invitation to live on past this mortal state of being. From my understanding as a Christian, what I believe and trust in, has a great deal to do with being received and kept forever into a resurrection life.
In our Luke reading for today we have the story of the rich man and Lazarus. They both die and enter into an unequal after-life divided by a “great chasm.” This Gospel lesson as well as other text of the Bible lead me to believe that all people will rise beyond this life, at least, initially. Personally, I don’t believe a loving God will keep us in some kind of eternal torment. I think that if we are inconsistent with the love of God at our individual awakening we just cease to exist. I don’t want that. I want to enjoy living and loving for all eternity on the comfort side of the great chasm.
Paul refers to our present life as a life living in a tent, a tent that will wear out eventually. He says, “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.” (2nd Corinthians 5:1)
My personal and informal creed is a belief statement I wrote for myself. It is an elevator statement that can be quickly delivered about what I believe. Here it is, “I Trust in the Creating Word through the Holy Spirit of the Incarnate Word, in whom we live and move and love and have our being, and to whom we must give an account.”
I don’t know what it is like to not exist and I don’t want to know. I am thankful that I have life and I want it for all people “so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”
Let us live to love, more than 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