Fifth Sunday in Lent: We Can Know!

Fifth Sunday in Lent: We Can Know!
Art by Chorn Jonny, 11, Cambodia Light Children Association, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. From the 2021 Prayer Calendar.

John 12:20-33

People have a lot of different thoughts about the afterlife. My son recently showed me a Netflix docuseries called Surviving Death in which people met with psychics and others who would channel their loved ones from the great beyond. They were so sad about the passing of someone they loved that they felt the need to communicate with them. After the show, I shared with my son my thoughts about heaven and how I did not feel the need to do what these people longed for. But it made me wonder what they thought about heaven and whether they were fearful in some way.

One thing we all know for sure is that this life will end. While scripture is clear about this, I am impressed by what Jesus says in one of today’s readings: “‘Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.  And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.” (John 12:31-33) Clearly, death awaits us all, including Jesus. But there is another, perhaps more important truth. Jesus declares, “Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.” (John 12:25-26) Eternal life will certainly be better than the present. This is good news in view of all of the suffering that has taken place this year. But I think the part that many get wrong is their view of eternal life. Why do so many seem to not understand it? Why do so many not long for it? We have a blessed hope, the knowledge that there is something better than what we have now, when, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away. And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’” (Revelation 21:4-5)

We can know that we have a future home. Praise the Lord that Easter is coming and Jesus’ death and resurrection allow us to experience this new home.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you that we can know that we have a glorious future home as the old song says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” Hallelujah!

Deb Pattee is the Wisconsin Conference spiritual growth coordinator.

Posted or updated: 3/18/2021 12:00:00 AM