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When External Life Masks Eternal Life

Easter is all about the latter – permanently unbroken, personal fellowship with God.  Our finite human brain may shrink from the concept of a never ending something, fearing boredom.  Blame the cartoonist who sticks a harp in our hand, a unisex gown on the body, and fluffs up a cloud to stay on.  For a more exciting spin, Christ’s highpriestly prayer in John 17 speaks volumes.  Verse 3 nails the key concept: “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”

Sad to say, this Easter joy evaporates when the cat brings her catch into the house, while its master loses his glasses.  The lizard darts here and there with the predator in hot pursuit, then hides under the sofa – not to be seen again for several days.  The frustrating search for the glasses takes its toll on frayed nerves. This sort of thing feels like an exhausting, unwanted “eternity.”

The Good Book answers our many searching questions, but Facebook finds many folk reading there for the satisfaction of exposed human foibles. Take the post about the shopper who encountered a guy with his cart full of toilet paper.  He immediately pounced on him harshly for being a selfish hoarder.  When he ran out of steam, the meek recipient of the rant asked, “Can I now go and restock the shelf?” 

The greeting posted by a congenial writer stopped me cold in my tracks. “Happy Easter to all.  All who celebrate or not…Remember what this day is about, whether you believe or not.”  This got to me more than the wily lizard or misplaced glasses, and pushed me to weigh in with little hesitation: “I believe that Jesus paid the penalty for my sins by His willing death on the cross, and showed Himself alive 3 days later to His friends – and eventually to hundreds.  To what end?  That one day I might close my eyes on this side of heaven and open them in His sight in my eternal home, reconciled to God and reunited with my believing loved ones. John, a feisty fisherman by trade, wrote his Gospel account of Christ’s lifelong work to draw hurting, hoping human beings into a joyful relationship with His heavenly Father.  He inserted the phrase “that you may believe” over 80 times.  I believe that this makes for the kind of peace that will prevent us from going to pieces!” True to FB etiquette, I exited my “outburst” with a 😊, only to receive thrilling replies accented by hearts.  Could this be a foretaste of eternal glory?

Vreni Schiess


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