Sunday, April 27, 2014

To Know, To Prove, To Sing, To Love

Happy Second Easter! Here's the sixth verse (the last in the United Methodist Hymnal) of "Christ the Lord is Risen Today:"

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

This is everlasting life.

When Jesus rose again, conquering the grave, we were indeed promised a future. Just as importantly, though, we were promised a present. We have life now. That life is everlasting, but eternal life isn't something we have to look forward to -- it is something we have now, if we have faith. So what is this life that is given to us?

In everlasting life, we know Jesus, who is Glory, Bliss, and King. (Not to mention the Way, the Truth, the Life, Living Water, Bread of Life, the Resurrection, the good Shepherd, the sheep's gate, and any number of other symbols used in the gospels, especially the Gospel of John. Remember also that God is 'I AM,' so every time Jesus says "I am..." he is, in a sense, alluding to God.)

In everlasting life, we prove God's power.  We dedicate -- consecrate -- our lives to God. We open ourselves to the Spirit, let ourselves be filled, let ourselves be used by God through the Spirit. We notice how God is working in the world, and other people see God working through us. In our lives, God is present. Thanks be to God.

And in everlasting life, we sing hymns like this. We sing and praise God. We love God, lavishing our Lord with praise and thanksgiving, coming to God with every confession and request. We are community in our love and our praise. We live as Easter people, as resurrected people, and that means something in terms of how we act. It especially means something in terms of how we love.

This is what it means to have everlasting life.


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