Let us sing alleluia here on earth, while we still live in anxiety, so that we may sing it one day in heaven in full security...We shall have no enemies in heaven, we shall never lose a friend. God's praises are sung both there and here, but here they are sung by those destined to die, there, by those destined to live forever; here they are sung in hope, there in hope's fulfillment; here, they are sung by wayfarers, there, by those living in their own country. So then...let us sing now, not in order to enjoy a life of leisure, but in order to lighten our labors. You should sing as wayfarers do--sing, but continue your journey...Sing then, but keep going. -Augustine of Hippo
I came across this quote this morning while I was reading part of Kathleen Norris's Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith. I was first introduced to Norris in college and, while I hardly agree with all her theology, I can't read her without being riveted to her words and moved by her poetry--and I've only ever read her prose. And I agree with enough of her theology to wholeheartedly recommend her books--at least The Cloister Walk and Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith. Especially (especially!) The Cloister Walk. I think the former is a much easier read than the latter although, my life is certainly richer for having read them both.
But the quote. I keep trying to pick out my most favorite part but I'm having a tough time. All of it is pregnant with words of peace. I think that this is the line that captivates me the most: here they are sung in hope, there in hope's fulfillment...
As I watch friends (both real life friends and those I call friends because they share their life with me through this thing called blogging) go through horrible trials and as we wait in hope for a positive end to our own situation, I sing Hallelujah and I long for eternity in hope's fulfillment. I long for an everlasting life spent in the presence of my redeemer.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.