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 firstname.lastname@example.org