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The first day of the rest of your life

April 19, 2017

As I was growing up, my Dad would proclaim with great regularity:

‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life’.

It was a little pithy sermon brimful of hope, of  second chance grace, of giving life another crack, whatever yesterday had been like. It was an irresistible invitation. And it was one that I came to understand that he wasn’t just saying, but living in very hope and resilience before my eyes. He still does.

That childhood was also Eggsfull of scripture stories and speeches of the kingdom of God – of  something starting all over again. Something that meant not just a few corners of things being better, but a second chance for the cosmos – a new creation – both new heavens and new earth. Not a bit of reality is left out of this offer. Even heaven is scooped into newness. Jesus himself leads the way with resurrection, the ultimate ‘first day of the rest of your life’ model. 

We learned to pray for this – ‘let God’s kingdom come’.  This is a ‘day one’ that is constantly coming. And the call of living as a follower of Jesus, the art of living as a follower of Jesus, is exactly this – living as if this is day one.

And that this is day one for everyone. No holding on to past grudges, past failures. You don’t live day one as if you’re going to die at the end of it – though in fact you might. To live in this day one – is to live as if you know there are endless days ahead for what really matters, so no panic or knee jerk reactions to scuttle around in a zero-sum game, but also it gathers for us fresh energy not to sit idly as if this day doesn’t count. It is day one after all. Endless days ahead of what really matters – justice, peace, the hungry filled, the homeless welcomed, the debt-crushed liberated, the dead raised – so Day One it’s  worth investing in these long term, for endless days. 

Easter. This is the life that resurrection declares. There are thousands of days ahead, whoever we are – because death is no definer of life. We aren’t on a fearful
countdown to death. The day of death will come and go – but all of our time stretches out in boundless love of God. 

 

today is the first of thousands

day one of many more

and so I’ve got strength for the mountains

who can say what I’ll have strength for

 

day one of many hundreds

they’re gonna roll out in time

pouring down with a grace that thunders

all we need for the end of this climb

 

when we’ll meet out on the horizon

and look with visions past sun and star

and all that we might set our eyes on

will be invitation to love as we are

 

day one of many turnings

round all the corners that call

every day a million questions

only one word to answer them all

 

today is the first of thousands

day one of the rest of our lives

but I’m not one for the counting

just choosing to love in the now that arrives

 

so this is day one – day one of the rest of our lives

 

heart and mind in the clouds a-soaring

finding freedom and rest

yet feet firm here

in my endless exploring

following fierce my quest

 

til we meet out on the horizon

hold our hearts full of hoping

and all that we might set our eyes on

is love’s large welcome and arms wide open

 

day one of all forever

endless the days of grace

love stretches out around us

filling every time and space

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