I am well aware that I am seventy years of age. I probably spend too much time reflecting upon what this means. I do not live the quick-paced life that I did a few years ago, when hurrying to be on time at the office, or a meeting or the airport. Then my mind was occupied with tasks and commitments. Not so much any longer. Living in this retirement segment of my life permits perhaps too much time to consider the things that are happening to me physically. I still go the gym each morning at 6 AM, but that doesn’t eliminate entirely the affects of a lifetime of wear and tear on joints. Osteo-arthritis in certain seasons is problematic for me. I am not pleased that my hearing and my vision is declining and I mention it only because it is noticeable to me now in these past few years.
So, being a person of faith, scripture still comments candidly to me the things that it is important for me to know. The apostle Paul travelled extensively to tell people that Jesus was the Messiah as he himself learned so dramatically. Corinth was one of the cities in which people believed his message, formed a small gathering, a church, to whom Paul later wrote two letters which are part of the collection of new testament books. In 2 Corinthians 4 Paul helpfully distinguishes the utilitarian design of the human body. The body is like a jar of clay inside of which is a treasure. The body is experiencing numerous damaging challenges and effects because death is at work. However, God who raised Jesus from the dead will also raise us to be with Christ and for this reason we do no lose heart. Everything that is visible is transitory including our bodies but God has given to believers his own Holy Spirit to dwell in us as His guarantee that we are meant for heaven. There we won’t require a physical body but will instead function in another kind of clothing for the soul. So if the earthly body is wearing out, that’s natural and it’s okay. As Paul puts it, “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the LORD, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the LORD.”
But likely the most important point for me right now is Paul’s concluding statement, “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.”