On Sunday we continue our reading of II Corinthians (5:6-10 and 14-17) wherein St Paul describes the human condition from a specifically Christian viewpoint. In the first portion of the reading (5:6-9), we (all Christians) at home in our bodies “are away from the Lord” in a kind of exile until we are “at home with the Lord” (5:8). Separate from him, we “walk by faith, not by sight” (5:7) in confidence that “we make it our aim to please him” (5:9).

And, our confidence draws from the belief that in Christ’s death “one has died for all; therefore all have died” (5:14). “And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them” (5:15). Therefore, St Paul concludes, “we regard no one from a human point of view” (5:16), for “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation” (5:17).

As St Paul conceives the human condition of Christians, we are in a kind of exile that we endure by aiming to please him as a new creation until we find our eternal home with the Lord. In this journey our hopeful expectation is “being raised with him” so that we “may know the strength of his presence, and rejoice in his eternal glory” (The Book of Common Prayer, page 493). Hope in the Lord characterizes our life and urges us on to what will finally be.