It sounds like an ignorant hippie thing to say and the greatest possible contradiction. Eternity is a word for forever, for things of grave significance. A moment is definitively fleeting, unimportant. How could eternal and moment be used in the same sentence? And yet, this was the paradoxical insight shared in a video at our church men’s retreat last weekend by Ed Dobson, a famous pastor who has been living with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) since 2001. As Ed puts it, “When you are worried about the future, it’s hard to find God. When you’re living in the moment, God’s right there with you.” I think the reason America is so spiritually emaciated both inside the church and without is because we are a culture that is built entirely around not living in the moment.
I preached a sermon a couple of weeks ago about a passage from 2 Corinthians 5 in which Paul uses a phrase that has dominated my mind ever since it jumped out at me at my Monday small group two weeks ago. Paul says that he longs for “what is mortal [to] be swallowed up by life.” Our lives in the world are oftentimes overwhelmed by things that create spiritual death, that keep us from being the vital, dynamic people God created us to be. Jesus swallows us this spiritual death on His cross and replaces it with the resurrected life that God established through Him on Easter. Here’s an audio recording of my sermon on this topic: swallowed up by life.