John 5:24 “It’s urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.” (The Message Bible)
Christianity is sometimes accused of being about “pie in the sky by and by when you die.” That is to say, the tantalizing appeal of a better world later to keep people under control in this present one. Certainly, Jesus and Christianity have a focus on life after death. The resurrection is the event that changes everything in the gospels. But there is something here and now that this passage and others like it claim about faith in Christ. People sometime speak of “heaven on earth.” That is usually a sentimental and unreal expression of how folks wish things to be but aren’t. Yet, as incomplete as life here is, faith in Jesus does open us to love and justice and beauty and goodness. They may be marred and tainted by the state of the world but they are a beginning of something grand and eternal, or so this passage leads us to believe. Turning to Christ in faith may be just a beginning but it is a real beginning of something beyond our imagination. All the essence of the tallest tree is already present in its seed. Where is the seed of faith in your life?