Daily Lent Devotional #38 (4/15/2011)

Today’s Devotional Topic:   “Eternal Life”

Today’s Scripture:   John 16: 16-18, 20-22

16 “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

17 Some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying…”

20 “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

I’ve always remembered the tag-line on the cover of the DVD for “What Dreams May Come.”  That movie focused on a fantastical and jumbled view of the afterlife.  Views on Heaven and Hell were taken from pretty much every conceivable religion and mythology, but the tag-line was great:  “After Life…There’s More.”

Christians believe that.  After this life on Earth, there will be more.  The final destinations available are a little limited, though.  Heaven or Hell.  Eternity with God and those who love Him; or eternity separated from Him and those who desire the same.  Jesus tried to help his disciples to have an eternal perspective with their time and life.  He was about to leave this world and return to Heaven with God.  He promises a reunion for all who are saved through Him.  But, there will be waiting. Compared to more than ten billion years of blissful eternity in Heaven, this “blink” of time on Earth doesn’t seem like such a big deal, does it?  Yet, it is in this ‘little while’ of our time on Earth that will determine where we spend the rest of eternity and what that will look like for us as individuals there.

Here’s some brief thoughts from author Henri Nouwen on these verses.  May you remember to use your ‘little while’ wisely, while also keeping the stresses and successes within it in perspective.

Life is ‘a little while’, a short moment of waiting. It is to wait full of expectation. The knowledge that God will indeed fulfill the promise to renew everything, and will offer us a new heaven and a new earth, makes the waiting exciting. We can already see the beginning of the fulfillment. Nature speaks of it every spring; people speak of it whenever they smile; the sun, the moon, and the stars speak of it when they offer us light and beauty; and all of history speaks of it when amidst all devastation and chaos, men and women arise who reveal the hope that lives within them.

What is my main task during my ‘little while’? I want to point to the signs of the Kingdom to come, to speak about the first rays of the day of God. I do not want to complain about this passing world, but to focus on the eternal that lights up in the midst of the temporal. I yearn to create space where it can be seen and celebrated.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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