Until as a Theological Statement

Until as a Theological Statement. Have you thought about it? I was reading a book to my seven-year old daughter, and at the end she said she didn’t like it. Didn’t approve. Why? Because why in the world would the author say Jesus is with you until morning light? I’ll admit I smiled pretty brightly at that level of recognition!

There are very serious reasons to care about until as a theological statement. For example, “[Joseph] knew her not until she had given birth to a son” (Matthew 1:25).

I’m not going to argue one way or another, especially on the Internet! But let’s admit we use the word in two very different ways. And, people rarely speak about it until the theological ramifications seem like a surprisingly big deal.

They may take sides on the matter. They may have preferences, but isn’t it funny? You’d think a word would have a common meaning. You’d think we could at least reach back into the Greek for nuance or implications.

I don’t have answers. Nor do I particularly have time or energy to do something about this except on rare occasion. At the same time, until is pretty common, even in Communion blessings. “Until you come to His table” or “until you come into His eternal kingdom,” etc. But is it really “until”?

I’m not against the word all together. There is that great expression, “Until we meet again.” I understand that to mean that God keeps us, together or apart, particularly boasting , via farewell, confidence in the gathering of the saints and the resurrection and unification with those dead! On so many levels it’s a great faring well and theologically sound statement!

Maybe I’m geeking out. Maybe I’ve overly picky. Still, I wish we could be more consistent or clear. Particularly with children shouldn’t we avoid ambiguous, possibly misleading terms ? It’s a marvelous blessing, and startling curse, as children find religious instruction in places whether we intend them to or not.

Honestly, I’m hardly even venting. If I may, can I just ask you think about it? And, be aware of the words you use, even the mundane little ones?

Also, stubbornly, know that Jesus is not with you until the morning, but always. Likewise, I will not now wish you well until tomorrow. Rather, I will wish you well, now and ever hereafter!!

PS. What ever happened to “ever after”? Let’s bring it back for all ages.

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