While we should enjoy God’s good creation, and while we should make the most of our time here, this is not our final destination. The new heavens and the new earth are our destination, where we will live with God forever in face-to-face and heart-to-heart encounter with God through Jesus in the Spirit. Jesus’ first followers’ hopes were set fully and firmly on his promises of enduring presence in their lives through the Spirit, and then later in face-to-face encounter with Jesus in the Father’s house. Certainly, the security of Jesus’ presence in this world and the next would give them hope and assurance in the face opposition and persecution. . . . Jesus’ presence and promises, including the promise that they would live with him in the Father’s house, meant the world to Thomas and Philip and the rest of the disciples. And Jesus’ presence and these promises should mean the world to us today. –Â Paul Louis Metzger,Â The Gospel of John: When Love Comes to TownÂ (Intervarsity Press, 2010), 180.
Robert Browning, the Victorian poet of the 19th century, is mainly remembered today for his fascinating dramatic monologues like My Last Duchess, and his marriage to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who was the more famous poet at the time they married. Browning became a formidable poet in his own right, and is nearly always included in contemporary anthologies of English Literature, as is his wife. [Read more…] about Piercing the oâ€™erstretched doubt: Browningâ€™s Apologetic in â€œA Death in the Desertâ€