• When the Past Tense Passes

  • LEA Weekly Devotion

    Word’s Worth series 2022–2023

    Week of March 12, 2023

    When the Past Tense Passes

    Report card time was always tense. Especially at the end of the year. That’s when adult relatives snickered, “Well, did you pass?” That’s also when kids, fighting like you to stay academically (and socially) afloat, would pose the same question—but the tone and inflection were different. I could hardly wait to put the question—and the inquirers—in the past tense. I passed.

    The concept of passed changes over time. People pass away, leaving memories and legacies in the past—and leaving pain and sorrow and problems in the past as well. So what will it be like to pass away? John got a glimpse of leaving the past earthly life behind, passing from a life of tension to a new life. Here’s what John reports:

    Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away. Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true” (Rev 21:3–5).

    Perhaps you prefer to say someone passed away instead of “they died.” Passing away sounds so much gentler, so much more polite. But death isn’t polite. It frightens, and it hurts no matter what you call it. It’s the devil’s last hurrah in your life—and it too shall pass! To soften the language isn’t the issue, because passing away means that God has taken away the past (permanent past tense!) and passes their soul out of their body into His presence. Too bad some of the living suffer tension as they worry and wonder where they are passing to.

    So here’s more information from John. Pass it along.

     “Truly I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24).

    Sing together: Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus

    Devotional Extras:

    We invite you to read the LEA guest devotions.

    Written by Edward Grube, LL.D.
    Director of Communications
    Copyright ©2023 Lutheran Education Association

    Quoted Scripture CSB®

    A joyful heart is good medicine,

    But a crushed spirit dries up the bones—Prov. 17:22 ESV

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