Today we are working in the garden, or driving down a familiar road, or sitting at our desks. We are striving to live the new life God is empowering us to live, serving our families, ministering in the community, loving our neighbors, working for God’s glory, and then, like a thief in the night, a car veers into our lane, a spider bites, a piece of plaque breaks somewhere in our bloodstream and lodges in our brain. Life is fragile, more than we realize. We come from the dust; we return to it, along with the dreams and hopes we have had for our lives. No matter what we do to stop the train, it chugs along. How we do we go on in such a world?
I started this short series regarding the Word of our God with a passage from Isaiah 40, and I will end there, along with Peter’s use of the passage in his letter. The Word of God which by the power of the Spirit of God makes us new, and causes us to believe in God and His very great promises – that Word abides forever; it is imperishable. Just like the saints of old who were looking for a better city whose builder and architect is God, so the Word points us forward, ever forward, to resurrection and new life and abundance of joy and peace and goodness that is itself imperishable and unfading. We live in the present under the shining light of the promised land which beckons us homeward. And so, safe and secure in God’s mighty promise, we can face the fragility of this world. Its losses hurt us, sometimes more than we feel we can bear. But we press on. We commit to the love and service of others and just not ourselves. We go about our business, even the daily mundane business of life, working, serving, loving, enjoying the gifts God gives us, and comforting those in sorrow. We do not know when our day will come. Knowing the fragility of life, therefore, let us love, for love abides. Knowing the uncertainty of tomorrow, let us make amends today. Knowing that our greatest glory in this life is no more than the flower of the field, which is here today and gone tomorrow, let us not worry for our own glory, but for God’s glory. Let us do that which pleases him, such as living a life of daily trust and hope and filled with the sweet fragrance of love.
I am deeply saddened by the news of a person dear to so many who has moved on to be with Christ today. I did not know her or her family. I pray for every comfort that Christ can bring to those who must press on in her absence.
6 A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
1 Peter 1:22-25
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.