17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. – 1 Corinthians 15:17-19
This morning, I will be doing a funeral service for a dear man of God who has gone on to be in His presence this past week. As I looked over verses for the upcoming service, and after having finished the prayer service last night; I was struck by something Paul said here. He said that if Christ only gave us hope in “this life only” we are to be pitied. It occurred to me that in some cases we have flipped that idea upside down. Christianity for many has become a “heaven is wonderful to look forward to” sort of thing with little focus even given to the joys that He provides in the here and now of this life. I think we should remember that the converse of Paul’s statement is pretty potent as well. If in Christ we wait only for eternity, we will be pitied by most everyone. He has come to give us life that begins here and now. Let’s find the joy in eternal life that starts before the grave.