“Let us go forth to bring Good News to the poor. It is the great and glorious day of our God.”
If you are like me, at least once in your life someone has asked, “Are you saved? Are you born again.” From what I can tell the focus of this question is a “when I die am I going to heaven” sort of question. For those asking this question salvation is all about having some assurance about an afterlife in heaven. But salvation is much more than just getting ourselves to heaven.
Eternal life within the Unity of God’s love already comes as a gift and we only need accept it, and when we do, eternal life begins. When we die, we simply continue that eternal life in a new and unimaginable way with God. Therefore, the salvation that Christ brings us by coming to us as Jesus is much more. It is sad when people get stuck only seeing salvation as reserved for after death. They can become “so heavenly minded as to be of no earthly good.” To stop at this understanding of salvation is to fail to move on into the work and mission of God for all of creation. It is to fail at being fully human. Christ Jesus came to show us what salvation looks like and how to live our lives in the way God means for us.
Those who love God barely think about what happens after death for they have put their trust in that love. That part of salvation is a foregone conclusion, matter settled. The love of God casts out all fear over those afterlife issues. This frees us up to be about the work of salvation here on earth.
Our world shows us daily that salvation is needed right here and right now. Every day we experience that need in our own neighborhoods. We cannot save the whole world, but we can save some little bit of creation. We can do our part to create communities of justice, peace, and love. We can decrease violence by being non-violent, decrease injustice by being just and fair in all our dealings, and decrease the harm done to our earth by becoming environmentally careful.
God loves creation and loves our earth. We, who are created in the image and likeness of God are created to love the earth, to love our lives, to love one another, and to look for what is good and rejoice in it. We are meant to enjoy our lives. All of us are meant to enjoy the lives that God gives us. This is the point – we need to overturn and correct those things that prevent people from enjoying their God-given lives. As Jesus says in John 10: 10, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
My beloved ones, it is good to find joy in your life, and a beautiful thing to help others find that joy, too.