2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
It was reported that last Sunday former president, Jimmy Carter, after a lengthy absence following a fall, returned to his church in Plains, Georgia to deliver his regular Sunday School lesson. His topic was the book of Job and he shared his feelings about suffering, death, and life after death. He reported that after 95 years of life he has absolutely no fear of death.
It may be a coincidence but this week’s first lesson at Esperanza is also from the book of Job and will include the well-known verse, “I know that my Redeemer lives.” As we look at this verse and consider Jesus’ comments about resurrection from Luke 20, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to think about some of the questions we have about the life to come. From our childhood on we’ve confessed our faith in the resurrection from the dead, but most of us have little certainty about what that might mean. Some of us, heavily influenced by scientific evidence and rationalism, may even have begun to doubt that there is such a thing. For such persons, the arguments of the Sadducees, who said there is no resurrection from the dead, are more reasonable than what Jesus believed and taught.
I can’t promise that I’ll be able to give you satisfactory answers for all of your questions about the afterlife. (Frankly, I’m suspicious of any who would claim to give definitive answers about that which is unknown.) But lack of answers should never prevent conversation…sometimes it is as we wrestle with those big questions that insights come. I do think that it’s possible to come to the point where we have a sense of peace about the future…and if that can happen for us on Sunday, I will be full of joy!
Thank you for the expressions of love I’ve felt from you as I’ve begun these two months of service…I am blessed by your thoughtfulness.