Day Thirty Six: God’s Love Embraces this Life and the Next

In the week ahead, we will consider the meaning of everlasting life. I prefer “everlasting” to “eternal” because the word implies growth and transformation, evolution and adventure. Life after death is not an escape, but a call to love God in the world of the flesh, seeking justice, peace, and beauty; working to heal this good earth. Everlasting life, I believe, is not “better” than this world, just different. If God is omnipresent, then this world as well as the next is filled with God’s presence and love.
Many people think God’s attitude toward us changes at the moment of death. They believe that if people haven’t followed certain rules or believed certain things, they forfeit God’s love in the afterlife. In contrast, I believe that God continues to love us after we – and that God continues to love all of us in the next world, seeking our growth and evolution and inviting us to continue in God’s holy adventure.
Here are some everlasting affirmations for your day:
God loves the world and all that is in it.
My life is an everlasting gift to God.
God loves beauty in this world and the next.
My hope for everlasting life inspires me to heal this world.

Bruce Epperly is a theologian, spiritual guide, healing companion, retreat leader and lecturer, and author of nineteen books, including Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living; God’s Touch: Faith, Wholeness, and the Healing Miracles of Jesus; and Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry. He has taught at Georgetown University, Wesley Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is currently theologian in residence at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He can be reached at bruceepperly@gmail.com

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A Meditation for Election Eve
About Bruce Epperly

Rev. Bruce Epperly, Ph.D., serves as Pastor at South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Centerville, MA. Prior to coming to Cape Cod in 2013, he served on the faculties and often in administrative and chaplaincy roles at Georgetown University, Claremont School of Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. Bruce is currently a professor in spirituality, ministry, and theology in the doctoral program at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. He has served as pastor or interim pastor of congregations in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is the author or co-author of over 35 books in the areas of theology, spirituality, ministerial excellence and spiritual formation, scripture, and healing and wholeness, including Process Theology: Embracing Adventure with God; Finding God in Suffering: A Journey with Job; From Here to Eternity: Preparing for the Next Adventure; and A Center in the Cyclone: Clergy Self-care in the 21st Century.