"Are you saving enough right now to have a secure financial retirement?"
"Are you taking care of your body today so that you will be healthy when you are older?"
"Are the courses you are studying going to prepare you for the work world?"
Each one of the above questions is a "big picture" question. And if we are honest with ourselves, they make us a little uncomfortable, even defensive. Take for instance the first one. Who isn't worried about having enough money for retirement? But when it comes time to actually put money away for the future, how often don't we give in to the rationalization, "I've got to live a little too. What's the use of having all sorts of money when I'm old if I'm not happy now"? In regard to the second question, all we have to do is look at our expensive but unused exercise machines to acknowledge our good physical fitness intentions that never get carried out. The truth is, we can understand the "big picture" of the different areas of our lives, but it is still very hard to live out the "big picture".
This Sunday we are going to end our study of the Apostles' Creed by looking at its final words, "I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting". Talk about the "big picture"! We all know we are going to die. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. In our hearts, we also have the very strong suspicion that life doesn't end with death. Something inside says we are going to be held accountable for what we did with our time on this earth. And the more we look at life in the here and now, the more we sense the necessity of that end of life accountability.
Jesus Christ offers us substantial and specific answers to our questions about death and the hereafter. In fact, his life, death and resurrection give us the "big picture" of our lives. He tells us clearly that our current lives on this earth are a preparation for the next life in eternity. He explains how we can have that life and how to prepare for it right now.
Some people have the idea that living the "big picture" Christian life is to miss out on the best human life has to offer in the vague hope of getting something better in the future. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A life of preparing for the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting is a life rooted in reality. It is a life built on the rock of Jesus Christ's resurrection. It is a life that can see through the temporary, empty pleasures which attract and then end up destroying so many. It is a life that is ultimately triumphant.
Join us this Sunday (December 12) at 10:00 am to get a glimpse of the "big picture" life.