Day 5

Already, But Not Yet

Day 5
Thursday, December 2

“As you do all this, you know what time it is. The hour has already come for you to walk up from your sleep. Now our salvation is nearer than we first had faith.”

Romans 13:11

Last September, 18 years old and ranked 73rd, Leila Fernandez upset defending champion Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open. Fernandez professed, “From the very beginning, right before the match, I knew I was going to win.” Victory was hers already, but not yet — she had not even make her first serve. Theologians refer to this concept of “already but not yet” when Paul describes our life with God as the hour of awakening that has already come, even though ultimate salvation is not yet here.

This dichotomy of “already but not yet” reveals that God has gifted us true life today, with perfect life to come. Paul likens it to looking through a dim mirror now, but one day face-to-face. If we live only for today with nothing to hope for, we abandon the not yet. If we resign to thinking a better life only exists in the future, we deny the already. Communion with God is ours now and forevermore. We are not living in defeat, but victory.

God, help us to remember that abundant life is ours now, with complete salvation to come. May your Spirit dwell within us now, until the day we are perfected and face-to-face. Amen.

Reflection by Dan Rataj

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