I've got that joy, joy, joy, down in my heart, after reading the end of Chapter 15, subtitled "The Resurrection Body" in the NIV. I wrote back in Romans about an "In Memoriam" Roll the wonderful Lamoille Valley Church of the Nazarene sent to our family, remembering all those who had left this body for the next, including Diane. It reads in part:
"If to die is to join in hosannas to a risen, reigning Lord,
and to feast with Him at His table on the bread and wine of His board;
If to die is to enter a city and be hailed as a child of its King
O grave, where soundeth thy triumph?
O death, where hideth thy sting?"
Onn her spirit's last day in her corruptible body, I read to Diane the first chapter of the latest Pendergast novel, "Fever Dreams". Pendergast and his wife Helen are on safari. Sometime before I read the part where a lion shows up and kills Helen, Diane fell asleep. (She woke up a half hour later.) Sometimes life does imitate art.
So in the airport on the flight home - the same one where I met Adrian Gonzalez' high school buddy - I found the sequel to Fever Dreams. And guess what, guess what......I discover in the first chapter that Helen is ALIVE! It is too wonderful, too miraculous, to believe, but believe Pendergast does. And so do I believe that as Jesus lives, so does his daughter Diane, imperishable, in glory, in power.
And on to chapter 16, like the denouement of Romans an anti-climactic "housekeeping" epilogue that still yields a nugget or two. First: Paul refers to people setting aside money for donations on "the first day of the week." I suspect he means they meet for fellowship on the first day, and for convenience's sake that's when the collections should be made, in fairly pain-free installments. So - worshipping on Sunday that includes regular giving already had at least a template, although not a universal command.
Also, I just got off the phone with Tim in New Jersey. His 26th birthday is next week. He is at a crossroads in various spiritual and geographic ways, and needs the support of the body. I read vs. 10-11 to him as he considers moving to another location:
"If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. No one, then, should refuse to accept him. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me."
He does love getting letters, as did the Corinthians, enough to begin the process of elevating it to Scripture! Tim's standards are not THAT high, though. I hope people will let me know if they need his address. Am looking forward to seeing Imani at Ithiel Falls tonight.