Remember Your Spirit-Week 2 // What is Unseen is Eternal // Pastor Kate Murphy

Scripture:  2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (NIV)

In the midst of life, we are in death…

That’s the first line of an ancient Gregorian chant believers used to sing each week in worship.  It’s a song modern hearts refuse to sing.  It may be a true statement, but most of us would prefer not to be reminded of it.  We build our worship services around the truths of our faith that inspire and encourage us.  

And that may be our mistake.

This month, we remember our spirits, and seek courage and wisdom and hope for these difficult days.  And our problem isn’t that we don’t know Jesus or love him enough.  I think our greatest spiritual challenge is wrong expectations.

Our expectations of life with Jesus here on earth are wrong.  Somehow, we’ve gotten the idea that if we love Jesus and Jesus loves us, we will be supernaturally shielded and protected from all pain and suffering.  But this is not what Jesus promised us.  Our ancestors knew that–which is for them that song was a source of encouragement and strength.  They expected trouble and sorrow on earth–and so they sought the Lord in it.

Maybe they learned these right expectations from Paul.  In his second letter to the Corinthians, he testifies:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

Part of the burden of these days is not just the pain and fear–but the nagging thought that it wasn’t supposed to be this way, that something’s gone horribly wrong.

But scripture and faith teach us to expect seasons of pain and loss.  Jesus promises not to save us from these days–but to bring abundant salvation life into those days.  The good news isn’t God is good when life is good–but that God is good even when life isn’t good.  Because, on this side of eternity, often it isn’t.

That song the monks chanted is true–in the midst of life we are in death.  But in Christ, the reverse is also true.  Because of Jesus, even when we are in the midst of death, we have life.  Come and see…

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