MUSINGSMay 31 2018


2 Corinthians 5:1-9
We know that if the life we live here on earth is ever taken down like a tent, we still have a building from God. It is an eternal house in heaven that isn’t made by human hands. In our present tent-like existence we sigh, since we long to put on the house we will have in heaven. After we have put it on, we won’t be naked.

While we are in this tent, we sigh. We feel distressed because we don’t want to take off the tent, but we do want to put on the eternal house. Then eternal life will put an end to our mortal existence.

God has prepared us for this and has given us his Spirit to guarantee it. So we are always confident. We know that as long as we are living in these bodies, we are living away from the Lord.

Indeed, our lives are guided by faith, not by sight. We are confident and prefer to live away from this body and to live with the Lord. Whether we live in the body or move out of it, our goal is to be pleasing to him.”

A few days ago I posted the first part of Paul’s dissertation comparing our earthly bodies to tents and our eternal bodies to a house built by God in heaven. Continuing with that he says, “We feel distressed because we don’t want to take off the tent, but we do want to put on the eternal house.”

There is a saying that you may have heard before, “Everybody wants to get to heaven but nobody wants to die.” I heard it back in the sixties from a comedian whose name I can’t remember. I wanted to give him the credit. However, a Google search shows it by anonymous. That’s a shame. If the person behind that witticism had copyrighted it, he could have been collecting royalties from authors, song writers, and comedians.

Credited or not credited they hit the nail on the head and hammered home the point Paul was making about our wanting to hang on to this life even as we profess our desire for the next life.

I think of my life on Earth as a hand in a glove. My eternal soul, the spirit that inhabits this body of flesh, continues to live on when it is withdrawn from the body: just as a hand lives on when withdrawn from the glove.

When the time comes for my hand to slough off this raggedy glove, I don’t want people to mourn over the abandoned glove but to celebrate the hand.

How do you visualize the tradition from life to life?

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams


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