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Saturday, August 23, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Philippians 1:21-26
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.
I'm not sure what to make of this passage; Paul seems about to start playing Hamlet. He does come down on the to be side of the question, but someone who's ambivalent about death either has a great faith in what awaits him or that his current life stinks. I find myself too-firmly on the to be side; my faith is squeamish about that next step and prefers the status quo. However, as I grow in faith, I get less squeamish, getting closer to Paul's ambivalence. We're not supposed to have a death-wish, to go sky-diving or drive at 120MPH in order to give God extra chances to do us in. However, we're not supposed to fear death, either. We're supposed to do our jobs for the Kingdom here and now. We'll get to our final destination in due time. Enjoy the ride.

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