TRUSTING IN THE LOVE OF GOD

Trusting In The Love Of God

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – The Message
And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.
And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.

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This scripture
is one I use at
funerals and memorials
to offer hope to the grieving
and also make some sense
to that vast emptiness
we suddenly
find in our lives at the loss
of a loved one.
There are those
who reject the
claims in this reading
as specious
and silly
ways to make meaning—
but this scripture does inform us.
It informs our faith.
It informs our hope.
It informs our understanding
of how things work.
I have been asked
what I believed about God
and how these mystical
and metaphysical claims play out.
Let me go on record
as not being really
too sure about
what Archangel thunder is,
or if the master really does
give a command,
or how we might
be caught up in the clouds.
Yet,
I think there is something
here
that is powerfully informative
about
how God works—
and I do believe in God, so
here is how I see it:
no matter how it all shakes down,
we are cared for by God.
And,
while I do not believe,
factually,
in the grand claims
that the Christian
metaphors and mythologies
make about heaven,
I still see them as stories
that explain not so much how,
but that we are,
indeed,
cared for and
loved and nurtured
by God throughout the
unending span
of what we term,
eternity.
And this is
what we should not be
uninformed about:
come what may,
the love God
has for us will continue—
forever.
And we can trust God
to do the best possible
by us
forever.

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