Friday, 18 July 2008

Children of the kingdom and children of the evil one

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

This is a challenging parable. It is not challenging in the sense that it is hard to understand. It is actually very clear, and Jesus tells us what it means. It is challenging in what it teaches us.

The good seed stands not for the Word of God, but for the 'children of the kingdom'. The bad seed stands for the 'children of the evil one'. It is, in this world, very hard to tell them apart. The commentators talk about a weed called darnel, which is virtually indistinguishable from wheat, until the ears form. It was actually a crime under Roman law to sow darnel among wheat as an act of revenge.

So these two: the children of the kingdom and the children of the evil one live together in God's world; they grow together in God's world; and it is only at the end of time that they will be separated.

There are a number of very clear - and quite difficult - principles in this story.

1. We are not all children of God.

Of course, to Jesus first hearers this would have sounded very obvious. They thought that as Jews they were children of the kingdom, and that the Gentiles were not children of the kingdom.

To us today, when often we hear talk about the universal fatherhood of God, this is very challenging. One of the most popular hymns that we sing begins with the words, 'Dear Lord and Father of mankind'. We say, 'We're all children of God.'

But that is not what the bible teaches. It is not what Christian tradition has taught. In fact, the bible teaches (and it is very clear on this) that even though we were created to be children of God, by nature we are not children of God. By nature we have become children of the evil one. Yes, we have been created by God: each one of us. Yes, we are unique and special. But no, we are not naturally children of God.

The amazing thing is that even though we are not by nature children of God, every single person is a potential child of God. John is so clear on this, when he writes at the beginning of his gospel (John 1:12): 'To all who received him [Jesus], who believed (put their trust) in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.'

So we are not all children of God. We need to become children of God.

That teaching can be misused. It often has been. It has been used to justify slavery, bigotry, racism and even genocide. And we need to move straight on to the second principal.

2. The decision who is and who is not a child of God is not one for us to make.

It has to be left to God at the end of time. The servants in the story ask the owner if they should pull up the weeds: 'No', he says, 'because you might pull up wheat as well'.

The history of the church is littered with the debris that comes when people try to establish a 'pure' church, a ‘believers’ church. They have tried to include the true believers and exclude the false believers.

But we can’t do it.

i) We will never be able to fully see into a person's heart

ii) We cannot see the end. Someone who seems to us totally beyond the reach of God turns to him at the end

Of course there are times when, as the church, we need to uphold church discipline. There are times when we have to say to a man or woman, 'what you are doing is incompatible with church membership’. There may also be times when people are excluded from fellowship or communion. But that does not mean we are in any position to condemn them as children of the evil one. No, in fact we are told that the reason for church discipline is in order to lead people to repentance.

Indeed, the principle of love, a love which ‘always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres’ (1 Corinthians 13:7), and a love which is the fundamental hermeneutic principal of the church, leads us to work for and hope for the best for all people.

Only God knows a person’s heart and only God knows the end. So it is only God - who delegates his authority to the Son of Man (there are many parallels in this passage with Daniel 7) - who can judge and who can separate.

3. There will be separation.

On the last day, ‘he will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil’ (v41).

Jesus in Matthew’s gospel speaks a great deal about judgement and separation.

This judgement will be based on whether we stand by Jesus or stand against him. It will be based on whether we stand beside the least of his brothers or sisters when they are in need, or whether we ignore them. It will not be about whether we called Jesus ‘Lord’, but whether we lived with him as Lord. It is not about believing in him with the back of our head; it is about whether we have followed him, trusted him, obeyed him, loved him and served him. It is about whether we have received him or rejected him. Judgement will rest on whether he knows us or does not know us, whether we are his or not his.

And I am talking about us, you and me. I am not talking here about other people: 'those who have never heard', ‘those who have been good Muslims or Hindus’, and so on. They're not the issue.

I'm talking about us: you and me who have heard. Coming to church is a dangerous thing to do. You cannot claim that you have not heard. We have been offered forgiveness and life. We have been offered the opportunity to follow Jesus. We have been offered the opportunity to become a child of God.

We are not in a position to judge whether someone else is a child of the kingdom or a child of the evil one. As I’ve said, the principal of love makes us always believe the best. But we are called to judge ourselves.

Let me repeat. It is not about how good we are, although our works will be judged and that which is good will stand; it is about which direction we are facing. Are we living for ourselves: for my family, my career, my safety and comfort, my hobby or cause - the key word is my - or are we living for Jesus, with Jesus. Because Jesus has promised that 'whoever comes to him, he will never turn away'.

4. There is a glorious destiny for the righteous.

Tom Wright, who I quote a fair bit, quotes a famous sermon from CS Lewis, who I quote even more often! In this sermon, Lewis declares that 'every human being, man, woman and child, you meet is someone who, if you saw them now as one day they will be, would either make you recoil from them in horror or would strongly tempt you to worship them'.

The righteous, we are told, will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

Remember the transfiguration: Peter, James and John go up a mountain with Jesus. And suddenly they see Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus, talk with him and reflect his glory. They were given a glimpse of what the Kingdom of the Father will look like in its glory.

I spoke a couple of weeks ago at an evening service about heaven. You can find it on the website, in a sermon on 2 Peter 1:13 If you think heaven is an other worldly place where we sit on clouds and play harps, please think again. Our Christian hope is the resurrection of the body: it is not about us going to another place. It is about heaven coming down to earth, and all that is rubbish here being gathered up and thrown out. There will be no cause of sin, no self-centredness that listens to the lies that tell us we can live without God, and there will be no evil. It is about this world being as it was meant to be. It is about us being what we were meant to be. It is about being with Jesus, being with Jesus’ people and about being like Jesus.

And as for the wicked .. I really do think that we should be very careful before we presume to pronounce on the destiny of 'all who do evil'. The passage here talks about them being gathered up, ‘thrown into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’.

Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego were thrown in the fiery furnace by Nebuchadnezzar. They came through it because one like a son of man was with them. Those who threw them into the furnace were burnt up.

We leave the destiny of the children of the evil one to the God of love, of justice and of compassion.

So four principles

1. We are not all children of the Kingdom

2. We are not to presume to judge who is and who is not a child of the Kingdom

3. There will be separation

4. There is a glorious destiny for the righteous

So what? I suggest three things

1. We need to judge ourselves.

Am I a child of the kingdom, or a child of the evil one? Do I pray, 'Your kingdom come?' or 'My kingdom come'? Have I come to Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Have I received him? Have I chosen to follow him?

Jesus said, 'Whoever comes to him, I will never turn away'.

2. We do not judge others.

We cannot presume to judge the eternal destiny of others.

I am not saying there can be no church discipline. There has to be, and the bible is clear about that.

But even if there is church discipline, even if there is discernment about what is and what is not godly, it is not our job to decide who is weed and who is wheat, who is a child of the kingdom and who is a child of the evil one. That is Jesus' job at the end of time.

3. And this is the emphasis of the parable - we need to be patient. The owner says, 'Let both [wheat and weed] grow together until the harvest'.

We look and see evil around us. We long for God to sort it out, to weed it out. And so we try to do so, our way - building the perfect church, crusading against the infidel, burning the heretics. They've all been tried.

We need to leave it to him. He will do the weeding, but he will do it in his way and in his time.

Friday, 11 July 2008


Matthew 6:5-8

It is very easy to turn prayer into yet another of those things that we do in order to make ourselves feel either good or at least not bad, or to make others feel good about us, or to impress God.

It is easy for prayer to become one of the most self-centred things that we do, and also one of the greatest burdens that we impose onto ourselves.

I hope that in these few short minutes as we look again at Jesus' teaching on prayer in Matthew 6:5-8, we will glimpse just how gloriously liberating prayer can be. It can set us free from self and free from the need to 'perform' in prayer.

Prayer is not always a blessing.

In the story that Jesus told about the Pharisee and the tax collector, the Pharisee went to the right place. He addressed the right God: he addressed God, the God of Abraham. He said, 'God I thank you that I am not like other people. I thank you that I tithe, that I keep the law, that I am very devout, and that I am not like sinners'. Jesus says, 'He may be addressing God but he is not praying to God. He is praying to himself'.

Prayer for him had become a curse

I remember watching a programme about Madonna. She was asked if she prayed. She said, "Yes: Before I go on stage, I get my crew around me and we pray, 'God, make them love me'."

But before we condemn that prayer, we need to compare it with our prayers.

So often we use prayer as one of the weapons in the armour of our self-centredness. Prayer is about me and for me. It is either about how I might manipulate the world so that it is better for me or for the people I love; or it is about how I might feel good.

And when that happens, prayer becomes a curse. In the words of Dallas Willard in his book on the Sermon on the Mount, The Divine Conspiracy, 'the ego swells and the soul shrivels'.

The religious leaders of Jesus' time used prayer as a way of impressing people. They prayed long, eloquent, and very orthodox prayers in public. They prayed to be seen and they were seen.

I sometimes find myself at the beginning of a meeting thinking: 'How am I going to pray in a way that will mean that I live up to people's expectations of me as a 'spiritual' leader?' Or I have to say grace at an official function: 'How am I going to pray so that they think me spiritual and witty and down to earth and erudite?' Or at a prayer meeting I think, 'I'm the vicar. People expect me to pray. But I don't know what to pray’. So I find myself making up words in order to impress. And I hear myself praying, and I think, 'You are not talking to God. You are talking to the people around you'.

And even when we are on our own and pray: it is very easy to feel inadequate or guilty. "I didn't do it right. I didn't pray for long enough. I didn’t say the right words. I spent most of the time thinking about my sister, or about what we were going to do on holiday". Actually distractions in prayer are usually quite helpful - perhaps that is what you should be praying for, asking God to bring his light and wisdom into that situation, so that his will should be done.

And often when I do consciously start to pray for others or for situations, I get overwhelmed: I think of them and the situations, a little voice says, 'You should have done this' or, 'You need to do that'. Instead of releasing burdens to Father God, I pick them up. So - and now I really am making a confession – When I am on my own I very rarely pray for other people or situations, unless those people or situations are already there on my mind.

I’m always really impressed by people say, 'I pray for someone every day'. That is lovely. But it does make me feel guilty. I feel I ought to do the same. But I don't think I pray for anybody everyday - not even my children. And actually I am not sure it matters, because Jesus prays for them everyday, and I pray that his kingdom will come.

Well, let’s look at these few verses, because they are very helpful.

1. They tell us that prayer is basically heart work, unseen work.

I've spoken about this before. The use of the word 'seen' and 'unseen' in these verses is fascinating.

If you pray to be seen you will get your reward in the seen world. If you pray to impress others, then you probably will impress others. You have your reward.

True prayer is about praying unseen to our unseen God, who rewards us - and the implication is that he rewards us with unseen rewards.

This does not mean that we must never pray in groups or with other people. The key thing here is motive: Are we praying to be seen? If the answer is, 'No, we're praying because we wish to seek God', but it so happens that we are seen, then so be it.

When King Darius ordered that nobody was to pray to anyone apart from him, Daniel did not pray with his window open facing Jerusalem, in order to be seen. He prayed, with his window open facing Jerusalem, because that was how he always prayed and he wasn’t going to change.

Jesus himself encourages his followers to pray together. But we need to remember that when that happens, we do not meet together to impress each other, but to encourage one another and to lay our burdens and our concerns at Jesus' feet.

And the good news is that what matters to God is not what we think of our prayers, or what other people think of our prayers, but the cry of our inner being to God for mercy.

It was the tax collector, who hid himself in a corner, beat his breast and prayed, 'God have mercy on me a sinner', who was heard.

2. They tell us that our Father in heaven knows what we need before we ask him.

Our Father in heaven knows that we need approval and recognition. He knows that we want to be loved. He knows that at times we are sick with anxiety for ourself or another person, or that we are worried about money. He knows that we long that our children grow into a liberating intimacy with him.

And prayer is not a telling God what we want him to do for us: 'God make them love me'. Prayer is an expression of real gratitude and praise to Him, and a releasing of those deep burdens onto His shoulders. 'Father I am worried about what will happen to the children and young peoples work in the church, but I am handing it over to you. Father I'm worried about our financial situation, and I hand it over to you'.

And the great thing is that God knows what we need even when we do not. Often we just don't know. When we are stressed there can be so much going on in our head that we do not know what to think. When we are depressed it is as if part of our mind has switched off, and we simply find ourselves unable to pray - with no vision and no hope. And so often we do not have the faintest idea about what we should be praying for.

But it doesn’t matter. Because God knows.

So I've begun to realise it doesn't matter that I'm not very good at praying for people or things; it doesn't matter that I personally can't do lists (I think that those of us who tend towards perfectionism will always find lists difficult - because they will never be comprehensive enough); it doesn’t matter that when I pray my words are pretty pathetic and mixed up.

Sometimes I think that is why God gives people the gift of tongues: a heavenly language, maybe a baby language - so that when you do not know what to say in English, you can say something and let the Holy Spirit pray in you and through you! It is why written prayers can be so helpful. It is why some of the greatest prayers are the simplest: 'Come Holy Spirit' or the Jesus prayer. It is why Jesus gave us the Lord's prayer. It is why people do resort to lighting candles or drawing pictures. They can all be different ways of crying out to God through the bedlam of thoughts that at times threaten to overwhelm us.

These verses teach us that it doesn't matter how we pray, because prayer is not about following a formula; it is not about what other people think of how I pray; and it is not about whether my words are up to scratch.

It is about an intimate relationship with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who loves us; it is about something that goes on at the unseen level; it is about bringing our thanks and burdens and concerns to him; and it is about praying that his kingdom will come.

But more of that next week.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Wedding address

A great passage to choose, because it begins with God's 'yes' to his people: "Holy, dearly beloved, chosen".
God has given us so much: he has given us this life and love and each other. And even though we have walked out on him and badly messed things up, he has not walked out on us. He has given us Jesus Christ his Son, forgiveness, new life, hope of heaven. He has given us 'All things'.
And this 'yes' of God to his people is the starting point of all healthy relationships
1. It sets us free to love
Paul writes, "Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience"
Because God has said 'yes' to us, we can say 'yes' to each other. We don't need to prove ourselves.
I remember hearing a couple interviewed who had reached their 80th wedding anniversary. It was a record. He was asked the secret of the success of their marriage. He replied, "Two words .. Yes, dear".
But he is right. The secret of a healthy marriage is that it is built on both partners saying to the other, "Yes, dear".
It is about a commitment to each other - to build up and not to pull down (illustration of Rugby player and dodgy footballer; 'If you wish to be married to a princess, treat her like one'; honeymoon story)
And this is a commitment bigger than feelings: it is there when the feelings are there, but it is about a commitment even when the feelings are not there.
It is a 'yes' that gives itself to the other.
People say that marriage is about give and take: no, it is about give and give and give and give, and when you have given everything that there is to give, you give again.
It is about giving time: time to be together, to do what the other person chooses to do, to go where they would go. And yes it is about taking time to be romantic and intimate.
It is about giving emotional support: being there for the other, being open with the other - especially in the dark times. Many of us can be like vacuum cleaners that are never emptied. We take into ourselves all the rubbish, but never allow ourselves to be emptied out. And we eventually clog up. It really is all about 'communication, communication, communication'
It is about giving encouragement: 'You look good', 'you did that well'. Not taking the other person for granted
It is about giving yourself. In marriage, you cease to belong to yourself. You belong to the other person. They are quite literally, 'your other half'.
2. This love of God for us, this 'yes' of God to us, sets us free to forgive
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
and Paul continues, "Forgive as the Lord forgave you". It is when I realise just how much I have been forgiven that I am set free to forgive.
Forgiveness is foundational to good relationships, and marriage is the ideal place to learn to say sorry and to forgive.
I don't know how you are with conflict.
Some people are eskimos. They freeze each other out.
Some people are cowboys. They throw cups of tea across the room
It doesn't matter that we get angry. What matters is what we do with our anger.
Someone said of their marriage: "We don't have rows. We collect grudges. We stockpile them in preparation for the domestic armageddon".
The bible says the opposite: "Do not let the sun go down on your anger"
And Ogden Nash reinterpreted the teaching of the bible on forgiveness:
"To keep your marriage brimming
with love in the marriage cup,
whenever you're wrong admit it,
whenever you're right, shut up"
How do we live this way? How do we remain rooted in the the 'yes' of God.
Paul gets practical and urges three things
1. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts
Let that awareness of the love, forgiveness, acceptance and purpose of God control your heart. We talk about letting Jesus come into our hearts. I'm not quite sure how you imagine that: my heart is a lump of muscle in here - but we know what it is saying: ask him to come and live in us, and to control our thoughts, our words and actions. That is the basis of real life.
2. Let the message of Christ dwell in your minds
Get to know and hold on to the good news of the love of God, of the presence of Jesus, of his word and his guideline for living.
Grow in your understanding. Remind one another of it. Meet with God's people. Encourage one another. Grow in obedience.
3. Give thanks
Give thanks to God for his 'yes', for each other, for the gift of the other. Thankfulness drenches this passage (v15,16,17)
Give thanks in the good time and the difficult times; when your prayers are answered and when it seems that your prayers are not answered.
Why? Because we are told that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose .. and that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

The Christian hope

2 Peter 1:12-21

If I gaze into the crystal ball and tell you that in ten years time you will receive £200million pounds, what would you say? Would you believe me? What would you want me to do to prove that it was true? If you did believe me, would it make any difference to your life now?

Peter, in our reading, wants to remind those of us who listen to him that there is something amazing that is going to happen in the future. Far more amazing than being told you will receive £200m in a few years time. The amazing thing is this: that one day, it may be in our life time, it may well not be - but it will still effect us; one day Jesus Christ - the Son of God - will return to this world in glory and in power.

We don't know what it will be like. It will not be the end of space and time, because they were created by God and are good, but it will be the end of space and time as we know it. It will not be the end of heaven and earth, because they were created by God and are good, but it will be the end of heaven and earth as we know it.

Later on in this letter, and especially in chapter 3, Peter gives us a glimpse of the day when it happens. He writes (3:13), "But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells". It will be a place where things will be right. People will do the right things in the right way at the right time with the right people for the right reason. We will be right with each other, right with ourselves and right with God.

It is not about floating on clouds and playing harps. It won't be like that. I cannot think of anything more boring. Actually I can: an endless church service with endless sermon or endless singing. It won't be like that either! Boredom will be the last thing in this new heaven and earth. It will be a place of of laughter, of play, of work, of creativity and of responsibility, of new adventures; a place of constantly broadening horizons: there will always be more to know and to discover and to learn. There will be things to anticipate and to get excited about. There will be new things that make us nervous. There will be a myriad of new experiences, new adventures, new achievements, new places to go (I have no idea how we will travel) and new sensations. There will be music and football and dancing and rugby and beauty. There will be new people to meet - and each person we meet will be unique and totally free and fascinating and wonderful and they will bring to us something that makes us astonished at how we managed to live without them; and because we have eternity, we do not need to rush away - there will be time to be with people, to do things, to grow the old friendships. And to others, we will be the most amazing and unique and wonderful person that there could be. There will be this sense of intimacy, more profound that any current human experience, that we belong to others and that they belong to us, and that we belong to God and that he belongs to us. And as for the muck that is in us, the sin that wants to make us the centre of things and messes with and uses other people and things to satisfy our own desires; the sin that drags us down in guilt and despair and a sense of worthlessness - it will be gone. There will be no place for evil or mockery or abuse or violence. We will be set free to love and to live, as we were meant to love and to live. And we will grow older, but our bodies will not grow older as they grow older in this world - we will just grow stronger and wiser and bigger and freer. And there will be joy and there will be wonder and there will be praise that bubbles up from our deepest deepest being.

If your idea of heaven is clouds and harps or church services - then could I suggest two books that you could read. The first is called 'The Shack', by William Young; the second is 'The Last Battle', and in particular the last few chapters, by CS Lewis.

And right at the centre of this new heaven and new earth will be a person. This is the vision that we read in Revelation. It will be the person who made it all happen, without whom we would be excluded and who holds everything all together. This person will be like us, just like us - or perhaps it would be more correct to say that we will be like him, just like him. He will be very different from how he was when he lived on earth. 2000 years ago he had a body like us. But in this new heaven and earth, his body will be transfigured: he will be awesome and radiant.

Is it all pie in the sky? Is it all wishful thinking?

That is what many would tell us:
  • It is what Karl Marx said, when he said that 'religion is the opium of the people' - a drug to keep them subservient
  • It is what some of the teachers in the church to which Peter was writing were saying. They were the scoffers about whom Peter writes in ch 3:3-4: "Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."

But Peter says there are two reasons why we can be convinced that this is not wishful thinking:

I'll take them in reverse order

1. Because it was what the prophets in the Old Testament spoke about.

They spoke about the day when the Lord would return. They spoke of the coming day when all that is evil would be judged and condemned, and when the Kingdom of God under the rule of the anointed one, would be established: Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:6-9; Ezekiel 47; Daniel 12; Joel 3; Amos 9. The list is endless.

And Peter says, These prophets were not the equivalent of our science fiction writers. They were not crystal ball gazers. The promises they stated were not the product of a wild imagination. They were speaking as God told them to speak:
Peter writes, v20-21 "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

And he talks about this promise being like a small light that shines in the darkness (v19).

In our previous house in London we often had trouble with the pilot light on the boiler. You know what a pilot light is. It is that tiny light that is burning, so that when you turn up the power, the whole thing explodes into life. Our pilot light didn't work, so that when we turned up the power, nothing happened. The whole thing was dead.

Well, says Peter, the words of the prophet are the tiny flame in the boiler. If it is there, if those words have rooted themselves into us, then on the day when Jesus returns, they will flood our body with life.

The message of the prophets, says Peter, is completely reliable.

But the second reason, Peter says, this is not pie in the sky is

2. Because we saw the glory of Jesus (vv16-18)

"For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain."

I could say so much about this - but I'm not!

Peter is writing of the time when Jesus had just told his disciples that some them would not die until they had seen the Kingdom of God come with power.

A few days later Jesus takes Peter, James and John up the mountain and they see Jesus transformed, talking with Moses and Elijah. It was a glimpse of Jesus in his glory. It was a picture of Jesus, Lord of space and time. It was a glimpse of the new heaven and the new earth.

And so Peter emphasizes: We did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power - we saw it. And he is clearly talking about the transfiguration as an anticipation of the second coming of Jesus.

Our Christian faith is not just based on words, but on events: events that happened in history. Events that were witnessed by people like Peter.

We can experience the truth of Christianity for ourselves as we walk with Jesus Christ. As we put our trust in him, so we discover that he can be trusted.

We can experience Jesus Christ, but we did not see him or hear him. That is why we are so dependent on the first followers of Jesus, on people like Peter, James and John. That is why they are apostles, in a unique sense. That is why we read the bible - to remind ourselves of what he said and did; to remind ourselves that even though we did not see him or hear him, there was a bunch of people who did. And they wrote it down.

So we have a great hope: a hope based on the prophets in the old testament, and on the words that are written for us in the new testament. It is a hope that is far greater than anything that could be given us in this world or by this world.

1. It means we can face death with a quiet confidence. Many Christians say that they don't like the idea of the process of dying, but they are at peace because they know that they will be with the Lord. Peter knew that he would die in a dreadful way (Jesus had told him that), but he is still able to write: "I know I will soon put aside this tent in which I live"

2. It also means that we can face life with a quiet confidence: that our faith is based on facts; that this world is not all that there is; that there is something much much more real and solid - and that the way to live now is about reminding ourselves that there is a judgement and an amazing future.