Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It will be all right...

Our short lives on earth are sowing time. If there were no resurrection of the dead, everything we live on earth would come to nothing. How can we believe in a God who loves us unconditionally if all the joys and pains of our lives are in vain, vanishing in the earth with our mortal flesh and bones? Because God loves us unconditionally, from eternity to eternity, God cannot allow our bodies - the same as that in which Jesus, his Son and our savior, appeared to us - to be lost in final destruction.

No, life on earth is the time when the seeds of the risen body are planted. Paul says: "What is sown is perishable, but what is raised is imperishable; what is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; what is sown is weak, but what is raised is powerful; what is sown is a natural body, and what is raised is a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). This wonderful knowledge that nothing we live in our bodies is lived in vain holds a call for us to live every moment as a seed of eternity.

The wonderful knowledge, that nothing we live in our body is lived in vain, holds a call for us to live every moment as a seed of eternity.
Henri Nouwen

When I was young, I used to be plagued by this sense of wrongness, that all that I might ever do, make, write would in the end come down to a thread of dust in a dead universe - that all human love, natural beauty, joy, longing, would end the same way. Sometimes my heart would feel as though it could not contain the grief of that.

I remember, very shortly after coming to be a Christian, poring over Paul's letters on a long train journey, and realising that it was just as Paul says: nothing is lost - all we are, all we have loved, dreamed, made or seen will be raised as it should be, glorious and imperishable, unfallen. I felt a joy and, yes, a relief, that must somehow be a foretaste of waking up in the Resurrection, and realising that God's promise has come true at last. Remembering, it comes back, like yesterday. It will be all right, all of it, forever:

God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.
(Revelation 21.3b-4)

Even so, come, Lord Jesus...

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