As a kid, I always accepted but never quite understood the phrase, “To be absent in body is to be present with the Lord.” It was often shared during funerals growing up in Brooklyn. It was a way to celebrate someone’s homegoing. It was a Jubilee to leave the chains of this Earth and go on to the new Earth to come.
The common phrase actually comes from St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:8: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (KJV).
On Monday, there was a young woman sleeping by the wheelchair ramp of the church...and doing so very peacefully. I thought to myself as the new college semester starts and students are moving in and out, “What am I complaining about in having to move into a new apartment in a few weeks? I’ve been well sheltered for 3 months and just got approved to move into a new apartment. God is good anyhow.”
Us believers get entitled sometimes. The world is upside down, and we bask in the glory of God and his provisions daily. I am reminded to not forget where the Lord has brought me from...and to keep close Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (KJV).
That earlier 2 Corinthian's passage starts at Chapter 5 with, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (KJV).
Even though I am about to move, again, after 3 months here in KCK, I am reminded--it is the Lord that goeth out ahead of me!
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