(Posted June 5, 2015) Perhaps the greatest folly we humans have lies in believing that anything, save for God, is permanent.
We like to think that things that are important to us will last forever. In reality, everything in this created world – homes, wealth, careers, relationships, animals and even the rock itself – is changing. The biggest problem with this human assumption of permanence is that it allows us to take for granted the very things we ought to be thankful for every day. How many of us, having lost a friend or loved one, have had “after-the-fact” regrets not spending more time having fun with them, instead of being immersed in petty things?
This Sunday Paul includes in his second letter to the Corinthians, this important thought:
Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.
For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal… For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
We ought to note that Paul didn’t just pick up a pen and write casually to his little churches like the Corinthian church. Always, always – there was trouble brewing whenever he wrote an epistle. In First Corinthians, he learned that the little community, some wealthy and some not, were engaged in bitter exclusion of one another. Pridefulness, failure to recognize and admit what sin looked like in their midst, prompted that first letter to warn and straighten them out. The SECOND letter, however, is Paul’s joyful response when he learns that they took his advice seriously and corrected their ways. So in this snippet of scripture we see Paul reminding them that the very things they squabbled about – material things and ego – are fleeting. What is permanent and growing in strength and beauty is our very inner nature, our spirits, which are being renewed through faith and the Holy Spirit.
In this hectic time of year, this still remains excellent advice – to tend to the garden of your spirit, and do not worry about the material shell that is here today and gone tomorrow.
– Pastor Pat Kriss