I live in an older home in an older neighborhood. Friends sometimes comment on how much character my house has with its crown moldings, arched doorways, and built-in bookshelves. But as anyone who has ever owned an older home knows, character does not come cheaply. There is always something to fix, patch, improve. No matter how much effort and money I put into it, I know my house will eventually crumble into nothing. That’s the truth about most things. They will not last.
But some things will.
Our souls will. But that’s not all. The work we do for Christ and in Christ—that will last too.
As N. T. Wright puts it, when it comes to building for God’s Kingdom,
“You are not oiling the wheels of a machine that’s about to roll over a cliff. You are not restoring a great painting that’s shortly going to be thrown on the fire. . . . You are—strange though it may seem, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself—accomplishing something that will become in due course part of God’s new world.
“Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or to walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world—all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make.”1
So today let us remember that because of what Christ has done in our lives, we are called, as Paul tells the Romans, to live a life of goodness and peace and joy, seeking first the Kingdom of God.
1. N. T. Wright, Surprised by Hope (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2008), 208.