In the Twinkling of An Eye

We will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.

I Corinthians 15:51

Is it a good thing to exist, to be human?  My first reaction: “No, mortality is one of the most unfortunate things that has happened to me.”  Were it not for the gospel, my first response would be my only response.  As it turns out, the gospel of Christ tells me things about my humanity, things that turn mortal despair out on the curb.

It tells me I’ve failed to bear the image of God—the one simple task intended for me (Rom. 3:23).  It tells me God became human, and he came bearing the image of himself (John 1:14), in my place.  It tells me that this God-man—Jesus—did not meet his end in death; in fact, he could not perish, because Jesus was the first true man, and because God does not die (Heb. 7:24).   This gospel shows a solution for my lost humanity—I need not fear death (Rom 8:1), I need only believe (Acts 16:30).

And there is still some believing to be done, for I awake each morning as a human, just as perishable as the day I was born.  But God knew we’d wonder what it means to be human, that we’d become discouraged, so he gave us this brief forecast: “we will all be changed.”

It will not always be this way: you will not always carry with you an ache no food can soothe.  Sometime ahead, in a flash, we’ll be transformed.  Until then, let us enjoy, as one author put it, “the privilege of serving the Lord without seeing him.”

And in the interim, should Shakespeare ask, tell him: To be, to be is very, very good.


“The twinkling of an eye.  That is the most wonderful expression… Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined.  I’m about to put on imperishability.  In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye.”

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

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