It is a beautiful autumn morning. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. The evenings are noticeably colder and there have been a few slight frosts. The summer is passing and the winter is approaching. Another year will soon be over.
The passing seasons remind us that time is always moving and our little lives pass by so quickly. Those who are older say that, for them, it seems as if time passes even more quickly than it used to. It is only too easy to look backwards and to wish that we could regain our youth or return to the happiest days of our lives. But there is no way back. It is to the future that we are travelling. We cannot stop the world and get off.
One of the recurring themes of the Bible is hope for the future. At the beginning of time, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command and were sent from his immediate presence, God gave a wonderful promise, which pointed forward to the coming of Jesus. A man born of the woman’s line would reverse the defeat and disaster of Eden and win a great victory for his people. When the Jewish people were facing 70 years of painful exile in Babylon, God gave them a promise to hold on to. “I will come to you and fulfil my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
The last night before he went to the Cross Jesus spoke to his disciples about his resurrection and told them, “you will see me again.” He also told them that he was going to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house and promised, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
God is the source of all hope. In Jesus he broke into the apparent futility of this world to give us a future and a hope. Trusting in him we know the best is yet to come. There is a place where there is no night, no pain, no tears, no parting, and no death. There God dwells with his people in blissful and unending blessing. We have his word for it.