Saturday, November 2, 2019
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Tomorrow in worship is our Remembrance Sunday, to remember loved ones who are now gone from us and light candles in their memory. This is a tremendous scripture passage, as we remember friends and family members who have died. This is God’s promise, that he who raised Jesus from death will also raise us to be together again before the Lord. We are joined by our faith in Jesus Christ our savior. By grace Jesus welcomes us as God’s people, and that grace is reaching out to more and more people through the ages, in ever-widening circles like ripples in a still pond.
Give thanks for the grace of Jesus Christ, who died to reclaim us and present us as blameless before the Father. By faith we are included as members of God’s family, so that we may give glory to God. We have a purpose for our living, because we are not our own. We are blessed with a hope that extends beyond the grave.
This hope, this grace of God that causes thanksgiving to overflow in our lives – it is stronger than whatever difficulties we face, day by day. It is even stronger than death, because God’s promise is eternal. Yes, Paul writes that outwardly we are wasting away. The years press on and take a physical and mental toll on us. But spiritually we are being renewed day by day as we look beyond what we can see to the promises God gives us. Fix your eyes on what is unseen, Paul says. That’s the joy of being reunited with loved ones some day. That’s the joy of being in the presence of God, praising God’s name. These are far greater joys, given to us by faith in our savior, Jesus Christ.
Gracious God, thank you for those I loved who are now gone. Thank you that you have cared for them and that one day we will be reunited by our faith in Jesus Christ. Remind me of this hope when I miss them, when the pain of my loss seems greater than I can bear. This present life is but a moment beside the fullness of eternity. Thank you for your promises in Jesus Christ, for the grace that has been given me by faith in him. Let me love you all my earthly days, looking forward to the day when we may all stand together as one, praising your name. Amen.