Friday, December 7, 2012

a simple little matter of life and death‏

I was stretching after running on the treadmill today and my mind was thinking about communion. I was thinking about the different "scripts" of how it is administered. I was thinking about using Question 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism:

Q: What is your only hope in life and death?

A: That I do not belong to myself. But in body and soul, life and death, I belong to my Savior Jesus Christ.

In dwelling on this, I realzied something by way of God's grace and revelation:

The Gospel is our hope in life and in death. 

I know, I know. 
I just said that and it wasn't all that brilliant or revolutionary. 
I didn't even restate it.
I just said it again. 

But I think more often than not, many of us really only hear half of that. We rush to the second part and assume the whole thing is constructed largely to reinforce this last contention. But I think we often miss out on lief by doing so. It also highlights our ignorance of our conditions. 

We think our biggest problem is that we will one day die. 
We are only half right. 

We, again, jump to the conclusion and miss the other half. Our other problem is that we have so many days between now and that day we die to live. We have so much life to live and all of it is under the scrutiny and judgment of God. We are judged at our death by the days we lived prior to it. But we often give no thought to the Gospel yesterday or today.

For most of us, our hope in life is NOT the Gospel. 
The Gospel will benefit us one day (read: someday) when we die. 
It is our hope in death ONLY.

But the Gospel is often not part of our "today." 

It is something we believed when somebody told us once and the thing we hope will protect us someday, but as far as today goes, we're on our own. Yes, Jesus died for my sin yesterday and I hope to meet Him someday to say, "Thank You," but today I do not think much how a man on a cross has anything to do with these dishes, these children, this headache, this laundry, this commute, this pimple, this schedule, this co-worker, etc... 

Death is scary. 
We do not know how we will survive it. 
So we hope in a promise made by God to save us by faith in Jesus.

But today is scary too. 
We do not know how we will survive it. 
So we often strive and panic and cry and have fits of rage.

What is your only hope in life?
What is your only hope in death?

God wants to provide for you a hope in both life and death in the gift of Himself in Christ:

This Good News.

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