In today's reading from Wisdom, we have beautifully detailed the truth and meaning of our trials here. But more than that, we have the promise...the utter factuality of our immortality...of our reward...of our forever. As it says...those who die with Christ appear to the foolish to be dead indeed. Their death appears sad or tragic. But it is not so. Those who die in Christ are at peace. And more than that:
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,We will dart about as sparks...bursting with life and light. All because God is Good and Faithful.
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect. Wisdom 3:7-9
You know I have to admit that I get a little negative twinge when it comes to Psalm 23. I imagine that's because it is so continually associated with death and funerals. But as I read it again today...the Hope within it just pops off the page. My Father leads me, He gives me rest, He refreshes me, He encourages me, and because of Him I have nothing to fear...nothing. On top of that...goodness and kindness follow me...ALL of my days. I don't need to wait for "the other shoe to drop." I don't need to fear the end of all the joy and goodness in my life that I know I don't deserve. They will follow me...all of my days. That's His promise. What more could I ask for...what more could I ever hope to want?
As Paul writes in today's passage from Romans, Hope does not disappoint. We have the Love of God within us. And as Christ Himself says in the Gospel...He will not lose even one of us. He came for us. He came to save us...to bring us back to Our Father...to restore us to the paradise He always desired us to know. And so while death is a part of this life...a part that we added...another perversion that we introduced...it too has been redeemed and transformed. What once seemed like the end (and sadly still does for so many), is really now just a transition. Christ came that we might have eternal life. It is ours...it is mine...if only I believe...I follow...I love. That is what I believe. That is my hope.