Paul writes his second letter to the Corinthians “to the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia” (1:1). This got me to thinking about heaven and eternity. Of course, the most amazing thing will be the presence of the Lord himself. But also amazing will be all the people there from generations and cultures past and future.
I get to thinking about all this and I’m just filled with wonder as I think about sitting with a cup of Sumatran coffee (of course we'll have Sumatran coffee!) and hearing the stories of so many people who were actually there in the places to which Paul wrote. Can you just imagine? The one says, “Yeah, we were fighting among ourselves. Though we knew Jesus and his salvation, in many ways our lives were in turmoil. And then one day, Paul’s letter came, and we were so saddened that he had to write as he did. But we were also encouraged by his counsel. When we read the letter, the first thing we did as a church . . .”
Of course, there’s so much more to reflect on: Paul’s words of comfort to the church, his recounting of his own trials, Paul’s struggle in writing so harshly, the gospel, treasures in jars of clay, walking not by sight but by faith, etc. But it’s such a joyous thought, and a fascinating thought, that one day, we will be able to sit down and talk with the very folks who were caught up in all this. And constantly in our conversations, we will keep going back to the One who has saved us and brought us together from all the generations of history. For now we pray:
May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By his love and pow’r controlling
All I do and say. -- Kate B. Wilkinson (1925)