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Already but Not Yet

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

by Jake Glover

There is a common concept in Christianity that most call the “already but not yet”. I understand it to come from the reality that Jesus has already conquered sin and death but we have not yet been rescued fully from the impacts of sin in the world in which now we live. We experience sickness, death, relational abuses, and a whole host of other things that find their root in sin. Simultaneously as these things exist, we have hope because of what Jesus has done and what that makes true of us. We live in a time and place where we hold in tension what Christ has already accomplished but are not yet fully experiencing the reality of life with Him forever without the effects of sin.

This time of year can be a beautiful time to celebrate and enjoy time slowed down with those we love. It is a time to reflect on God coming to dwell with us, yet often it can be a time of year that reminds us of the “not yet” world in which find ourselves. Fractured family relationships, loss of loved ones, loss of jobs and more come sharply into view. The empty chair at the dinner table stirs up the memory of that loved one that has passed, while also experiencing joy seeing the rest of the table so full of life and love. There is a tension we hold as people, even more focused tension as Christians. We see and believe it is true that there will come a day where death will cease and sin will be no more, while still currently feeling the effects of sin.

And so, as we gather with friends and family, let us hold this tension well. It is good to celebrate, while still holding sadness for whatever may be stirred up from our lived experiences. There is a scripture that comes to mind to anchor us into our reality as believers, serving as a reminder that God truly is Emmanuel. He is here with us right here and now. Let us take time to celebrate all that God is doing through this season and also make space to hold these tensions through the grace and faith offered us in Christ.

John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage—I have conquered the world.”

He is our hope & our ever-present peace no matter where we find ourselves today. May you be filled with His Spirit that makes all that is heavy also feel light. He is truly with us.

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