1 We know that if the tent that we live in on earth is torn down, we have a building from God. It’s a house that isn’t handmade, which is eternal and located in heaven. 2 We groan while we live in this residence. We really want to dress ourselves with our building from heaven— 3 since we assume that when we take off this tent, we won’t find out that we are naked. 4 Yes, while we are in this tent we groan, because we are weighed down. We want to be dressed not undressed, so that what is dying can be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who prepared us for this very thing is God, and God gave us the Spirit as a down payment for our home.
Having been with many people in their last hours over my years as a pastor – and as a human – I’ve noticed there’s a strange thing that happens at times. It can be subtle, but I’ve noticed that you’ll occasionally see a dying person tug at their clothes, like they’re wanting to be rid of them. I’m not 100% sure how to explain it except in light of this passage. There comes a moment when the body itself becomes a burden, where we long to be free, to be (re)united with God who is Spirit.
While we’re in this body, we have a hard time imagining relinquishing it. We love the things we can do with it – make music or art, move from here to there, take a nap in the sun, enjoy a great meal, hug someone we love. The human body is an amazing creation and gift from God.
And yet, the ultimate trajectory of our life, and our faith, is toward letting it go. We let go of these outer garments to move from our earthly tent to a home “not made with hands, but eternal in the heavens.” During this Easter season, we place our hope in a Resurrection that will swallow up everything – including death!
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Have you ever experienced a celebration of life that was truly joyous – a thanksgiving for a life lived well, and a newfound freedom in God? What did it teach you about your own journey of faith?
Prayer: God, we thank you for the gift of being present in the body. We thank you for life. Even though we struggle with many physical challenges on this side of heaven, we know that we are both fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you for your love of our embodied selves here on earth, and the promise of a brand new way of being with you forever. In the name of Jesus, our risen Savior, amen.