We Beleive… but are we sure?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
9 He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace. He gave us this grace by means of Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but now it has been revealed to us through the coming of our Savior, Christ Jesus. He has ended the power of death and through the gospel has revealed immortal life. 11 God has appointed me as an apostle and teacher to proclaim the Good News, 12 and it is for this reason that I suffer these things. But I am still full of confidence, because I know whom I have trusted, and I am sure that he is able to keep safe until that Day what he has entrusted to me. 2 Timothy 1:9-12 (TEV)
791 You lack drive. That’s why you sway so few. You don’t seem very convinced of what you gain by giving up the things of the earth for Christ. Remember: “A hundredfold and life everlasting!” Would you call that a poor bargain
This afternoon I shall officiate at a service for a dear lady who recently departed. It is not the first funeral I have done, it is not even in the first 100. This lady was over 90 years old, led what most would call a successful life, and seemed so strong that she would out last us all.
I will be at another service later this week and had a couple only a few weeks ago. If I believe the statistics, it is not just people who are dying, it is the faith community they belong to, or once belonged to, in other words, the church. My denomination may close 25% of its congregations in the next 10 years, it may shrink even faster than that, if something doesn’t change.
And as I am having to deal with mortality, I read the words of St Josemaria this morning, and I realize the point he makes. I am not sure we even realize there is an existence beyond this life, we dont’ think about what is beyond death, we just try to hold it off. Some of us, myself included, are struggling to survive day to day, so even next week seems like an illusion.
How can we be grateful for something that is not quite tangible? How do we consider the necessity and blessing of salvation if we can barely think further than Friday?
Paul considers that He is confident because He knows whom he depends upon, the Lord who has revealed life and immortality to Him. There is a relationship there that sustains him, it is that relationship that gives him the ability to be sure, that no matter the suffering, that he will dwell in the presence of God forever.
That goes beyond theological knowledge, it is something that our hearts and souls have to grasp, to hold on to, to find hope in this promise of God. Being convinced and persuaded of this reality that God plans, His promises are there for us, that His work will be completed in us, that assurance changes how we interact with each other.
You want to change how you or your church reach out, help them understand that for many, eternity is but a breath away. Help them know the blessing of living in God’s presence now, the peace, the freedom from sin, the blessing of knowing God is with them, leading them home.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1826-1828). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.