"Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life will keep it."
Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I woke up to snow this morning, even while the daffodils are optimistically pushing their way through the soil. Spring keeps peeking in and then hiding again. But we know it is coming one of these days, if we just hold on and wait.
Isn't the kingdom of God like this? We see signs. We know it is true. We can feel it pushing its way toward sunlight. Yet we continue to face gray days when it seems like winter will never end. We long for the day when it will be behind us and the eternal spring of the Lord's reign will be with us forever.
As we look to our scripture passage in Luke this week, Jesus reminds us that we need to be ready. We may feel like we are stuck, or like this life is all there is, but there is a new reign coming. That day will be a day of reckoning, a day of hope for those who are found in the Lord and a day of despair for those who reject Him.
If you have time in the next few days, please read Luke 16 and 17. We have a lot to cover on Sunday, and it will help if you are familiar with the passage. It is full of odd stories - the one about the corrupt steward who makes dishonest deals so people will like him when he gets fired, the one about poor Lazarus and the rich man who both die but go to opposite places in the afterlife, and others about millstones, mulberry trees, ungrateful people, and finally a prophecy about the coming of the Kingdom with Christ's return.
The question with each of these is simple: are you ready? Does the way you live now reveal the life you desire for eternity? Are you investing your money, relationships, faith, and gratitude on things of eternal value or in things that will pass away like grass?
Thanks be to God, we do not have to earn our way to heaven. We are only welcomed in by His grace and His righteousness. The most important way to get ready is to spend time with the Lord, to learn to love Him and to share His love with others.
"On that day" is a phrase the Bible uses over and over. There is a day of reckoning coming. But it is not a day to dread for those who are found in Christ. It is a day of peace, restoration, justice, and joy. I love this promise from Zephaniah 3:16-17:
"On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem... 'The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.'"
Even in the midst of grey days, know that a Spring is coming that will last forever!