How can we go about being prepared for the future? Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Mark 13:31) What did he mean by that? St. Peter expanded on what Jesus is saying:
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, ‘All men are grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.’ (Isaiah 40:6-8) And this is the word that was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:23-25)
Jesus and Peter are contrasting the perishable with the imperishable, the temporal with the eternal, that which passes and that which endures. Our glory as human beings: our outward appearance, our material possessions, our status symbols, our achievements, are like the flowers of the field that wither and fall at the end of our time on earth. What has been implanted in us by the living and enduring word of God: the new life of the Spirit of Christ, his presence and power, his grace and his love, his compassion and kindness, his humility and unselfishness, is what stands forever. It is the fruit of that seed of the words of Jesus that will stand up to God’s scrutiny in that final day when he ushers us into his glorious presence.
Only the words of Jesus, and what they produce, abide forever – forever relevant, forever applicable, forever fresh and new. This truth has to be our bedrock, our conviction, if we are to avoid being taken unawares by events, if we are to be prepared for the future. If we truly believed this, what would our daily life look like?
Instead of being constantly mesmerized by the current news cycle, hearing the media pundits opining repetitiously on every broadcast, pouring over the stock reports in the hope of beating the stock market, or protecting what we have, being depressed by the bad actors on the world scene, and either allowing our minds to be programmed for despair, or trying to escape the atmosphere of doom and gloom by vicariously living through the triumphs or disasters of our college or favorite sports teams, or taking refuge in addictive behavior, we need to reorient our daily lives. What would happen if you began each day with the reading and meditation of Holy Scripture? You would be investing in the living and enduring word of God. You would be nourishing the imperishable seed of the Spirit to become fruitful in your consciousness. An eternal perspective would begin to flourish and influence your attitude. You will begin to view your current situation, and the present age from a new vantage point. You will see the headlines in a new context.