I’ve learned it’s just easier to accept that I live in a time of decline.
The climate, social and economic equality, political discourse – all of these things are getting worse. There are a number of beautiful things and comforts and advantages that our modern age affords, but still, it feels like things are getting worse.
And now we are living through a public health crisis that is killing loved ones, creating and exacerbating poverty, and setting us up for societal and mental health problems for years to come. With all of us getting a limited number of years, it feels really unfair that some of our sliver of time on earth gets eaten up by this.
I felt this deeply on Easter Sunday. I was fortunate to be part of a mass in person, oddly “essential”, if only for a time, as a church musician. The strife was supposed to be o’er, but life in a pandemic was still hard, and getting harder for many people.
For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. We live between now and forever. We believe in an eternal God, but experience divinity in the particulars of our lives. We are part of timeline that lasts longer than we can imagine, and the many details of our lives will be swept away by history’s brush. This belief in both now and forever enables us to celebrate the Resurrection, knowing that something that happened at one moment somehow happens over and over again.
Frail as summer’s flower we flourish,
Blows the wind and it is gone,
But while mortals rise and perish
God endures unchanging on. – Henry Francis Lyte
Contemplating eternity leads me to awe which is not entirely comforting. I am fearful of what I can’t understand, and the truth of my smallness challenges my desire to be important. I can only bear to think about it for so long.
There is more than this moment, more than this month or this year. There is even more than our lifetimes. I pray that I can believe without seeing, that I can trust in the eternal Goodness to whom all glory goes, now and forever.