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Daily Devotional • January 3

Emily Hylden
What Will Endure
A Reading from 1 John 2:12-17

12 I am writing to you, little children,
    because your sins are forgiven on account of his name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young people,
    because you have conquered the evil one.
14 I write to you, children,
    because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young people,
    because you are strong
    and the word of God abides in you,
        and you have overcome the evil one.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world, 16 for all that is in the world — the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches — comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God abide forever.

Christians are asked to believe and trust most in what we cannot see: the love of the Father, the Word of God, the fruits of the Spirit. 

Do you ever have moments that feel like the universe is tugged at its edges, like the moment is somehow larger than life? Sometimes they’re like those “transfiguration” moments, and I want to say of them, like Peter, “It’s good for us to be here! Let’s stay! Let’s build houses and camp out on this mountain in this moment and never leave!” We want those transfiguring moments to last forever, and I believe that someday they will — that these moments are tastes of the kingdom of heaven. 

We’re urged in the epistle lesson today to notice the things that endure, and not to rely on or cling to the things that are passing away, the things that belong to “this world,” the things that are corruptible. So often the things that belong to this world are the things that are so visible, the things that easily fill our senses. And they bring us many gifts. God’s very presence is mediated through these things. We need many of them to live. But they are not the source of life. 

The things which endure can be more difficult to attune to, but they’re also sweeter when we’re able to pay attention and enjoy them. May we practice and learn to long for these tastes of heaven, these eternal and incorruptible things. 

The Rev. Emily R. Hylden resides with her priest husband and three sons in Lafayette, Louisiana. Find her podcasting at Emily Rose Meditations.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

Messiah Episcopal Church, St. Paul, Minnesota
The Diocese of Ontario – The Anglican Church of Canada
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