A British psychiatrist once said, “We live in two worlds simultaneously, the internal and the external, and constantly confuse the two.” Or something close to that.
I think, similarly, we live in two worlds simultaneously, the eternal and the now, and constantly confuse the two.
Christ died to save our eternal lives.
Christ lived to show us how to live our best now lives.
The eternal is eternally taken care of, once and for all, once for all, by the cross and the empty tomb. Even if they be but symbols (as sometimes I think they are) what they are meant to symbolize is clear. Death has lost its sting.
But that does not mean that life has lost its challenge. We do not try to live the Beatitudes and the two great commandments to earn eternal life. Eternity is God’s business, not ours. And God has taken care it. We do not earn salvation like a Scouting badge. We are gifted salvation like a birthday present.
Ah, but holiness – now that is quite another thing. To be whole in the now. Wholly loving, wholly forgiving, wholly just, wholly confident of God.
That, now, is something we can work at, get better and worse and better again at. That is why I rewrite psalms, teach Sunday School, work for social justice, and pray.
That is why in eternity I will need neither faith nor hope but will live in Love.