The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Christians often talk about the idea of eternal life. We like the idea that live won’t end. Actually, we often find it an uncomfortable idea. Is it going to be essentially like the life we have now, just lasting forever? That doesn’t exactly seem like a nice idea. Oh, it will be in a different place. Well, fine, but not exactly enticing. I admit that while writing this I’m in a very comfortable climate, enjoying a nice early spring day, writing outside, looking over some beautiful scenery. It’s pretty nice. We are told that we won’t be concerned about our families or our career any more. But I like my family and I like my work. I admit that a part of me thinks I would not like that to end. I kind of like the idea of eternal feasting and no health problems. But really the idea of living forever isn’t too enticing to most of us, most of the time.
How did Jesus define eternal life in the John 17:1-5? He defined it as knowing the Father and the Son. He doesn’t talk about a duration of time. Eternity is normally pictured in the Bible as timelessness. It’s pictured as the presence of God. It’s pictured as a delightful fellowship with God which will not end, and which we would not want to end. That’s something that we really can’t imagine.
When do we get eternity? When we know Jesus, God the Son. That’s a “right now” kind of thing. Therefore, I challenge readers, think of eternity in terms of a relationship, one we have now, not as a future duration of time. It is something we can rejoice in even now. It is the way that we are received into glory, as the Son has also been received into glory. That’s the abundant, victorious life we keep hearing about.
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