For the Church Father, John Chrysostom (the golden-mouthed preacher of the fourth century), there were some portions of Scripture that should be read every day by the Christian, without fail. One of these was Psalm 63. Here we read in verse 3, “Your steadfast love is better than life.” For Chrysostom, this was a truth that the soul needed to contemplate continually, for it puts our life into proper perspective. Every good gift this life has to offer pales in comparison to the love and to the favour and to the blessing of God himself. The good things in this life are the streams, God is the fountain from which they flow. If the streams are sweet and refreshing, how much better the source!
We live, therefore, in this life, using the good gifts of creation as signs, or emblems, to point us to the true good in God. The good gifts in creation are not an end in themselves, but paths to higher, deeper, wider, and inexpressible joys in God.
Let’s listen to Augustine then, when he writes in his sermon, “Let us also make light of what he has given us here, so that we may come to greater things there.” God’s unfailing love, which we can know now and will explore infinitely in the life to come, is better than anything this life has to offer. Pursue this. Seek this first. All other things will be added to you in such a way that they will point you back to the one thing in this life that really matters.
For Christ and His Kingdom,