"I tell you a mystery. . . we shall be changed"
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
2012 was a big year for me. Many things happened that shaped my life for years to come. Five years ago I graduated from college, got married, traveled across the U.K. and Europe, and then moved to Austin, Texas. Christmas was spent together with my family in East Texas. There was snow on the ground. Lots of it, and my mother was confined to her bed with cancer spreading throughout her body. The next month she passed away.
2012 was a big year for me.
I took the photo above while my wife Dusty and I were exploring part of Switzerland in the fall of 2012. This photo resembles an image that is etched into my mind: I am standing on earth, with my narrow view of life, but I'm gazing up, up, and up. I can see a small glimpse of eternity - that there is more to my existence than I can grasp from my narrow perspective. I am unable to understand why there is hate in the world or why death is part of life, but I can see there is hope. There is hope that exists beyond me. This image reflects the hope that I have, the hope that is freely given to all of humanity. The hope that "we shall be changed." Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Corinthians:
"Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
Have you ever wondered why God created us? What keeps the earth beneath our feet? What holds all things together?
I think we have all asked questions along these lines at some point. Somewhere between the busyness of meeting work deadlines and changing diapers. Somewhere between the overgrown lawn and the burnt coffee. But at some point the human race got so busy we lost sight of the the ground we stand on. We lost sight of what matters most - we lost sight of the hope that is an anchor for our soul.
I share all of this not in despair but hopeful for what is to come. I share this that we may not lie still in darkness, but that we may all be changed! Paul's admonition after describing how we shall be changed is this:
"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58
The hope offered in God's word is mystery and it is victory. It is the battle cry of the hopeful Christian.