Better than we think—and worse.
As in life itself, in all of us— there is something of the best and the worst.
For me, it’s a wake up of a thought—that started in the Garden, and keeps beeping in the background, like an unexplained but familiar-sounding reminder that something about us—and everything— isn’t as good or as bad as we think.
While reminding us that there is always one thing that matters more than anything else, Paul tells us that—even when we think we get it—we are still “looking through a glass darkly”.
When Jesus was with us, he said that he had come to set the world on fire—and wished it had already happened (Luke 12:49). His forerunner, John, had said something similar about One who would baptize not with water— but with fire.
Imagine the associations that could have come to our minds—if we had been there. None of us would have had more than a clue of what either John or Jesus were really saying. None of us could have imagined the kind of fire Jesus would baptize his followers with on a future day of Pentecost– or what would go up in flames. None of us could have imagined the worst thing that would happen to Jesus himself— or the best.
And here we are—looking back with far more understanding of the best and worst of the past—and still barely a clue of the best and worst that is still to come.
Yet what we have is even better than the words “he is risen.” It is that— he is still with us— and that we belong to him.