Day 15

December 11

December 11

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

An Eternal Weight of Glory

by Erin Moniz, D.Min

In the last few years, I began to appreciate the season of Advent and all it represents. I found myself thirsting for transformation. I wanted this well-worn Christmas story to be more than nostalgia and eggnog. I wanted to feel my soul refreshed in December. I wanted the courage to sit still in the dark while anticipating the coming light. Through this ache, I discovered that the glitz and glitter of the Christmas season did not always ring as sweet as it did in my childhood. There are precious Christmas traditions I will always hold dear, but there is also an anemia that accompanies the razzle-dazzle of Christmas sights and sounds. I found that the spiritual season of Advent allowed me the opportunity to enjoy Christmas while also engaging the realities of life.

In this passage, Paul reminds us of the duelling realities we encounter in our world; inward and outward, light and heavy, eternal and momentary, seen and unseen. The language is striking and sincere as it places the human experience squarely in the immanent and transcendent. It reminds us that we cannot escape either. However, we can be discerning about which reality holds more value. There is nothing wrong with the anticipation of eating the apple streusel that my mom only makes on Christmas day. Some of the most beautiful gifts we experience exist in the fleeting time it takes to get a fork to my mouth.

But Scripture reminds us that this immanent frame also includes the unreliable corruptibility of temporal things. Our bodies age. Our stuff decays. Our troubles come and go and then come again. We cannot escape this reality, but it is also not the only reality we have. As a chaplain and Director for Chapel, there are the finite demands of creating systems, training personnel, and managing events. But this passage reminds us that some things are eternal. It allows me the moments I need to remember that our work here has eternal value and that I should not let the temporal demands of the job overshadow this truth.

We remember that while our bodies age, our identity in Christ as full humans is being transformed and renewed. Every season has its own way displaying this truth. So, for this season of Advent, I encourage you to fix your eyes on what God through the Holy Spirit is doing in your life. Let the joys of the season elevate you to rejoice in the reality of spiritual transformation and renewal, even amid fleeting, temporal festivities. We cannot put our hope in the transience of our world, but we can appreciate how even the light and momentary troubles are achieving an eternal weight of glory.

Learn More About Our Guest Writer

Erin Moniz, D.MinErin Moniz, D.Min

Rev. Dr. Erin Moniz is an Associate Chaplain and the Director for Chapel. Her work includes overseeing Baylor Chapel and the team that leads all the various services and offerings. She is part of the Spiritual Life staff in ministering to the spiritual needs of the Baylor community including pastoral care, teaching, worship leading, and speaking. She comes to Baylor from Berry College where she served for nine years as the Assistant Chaplain to an undergraduate community.

Rev. Dr. Moniz is active in spiritual formation, mentoring, discipleship, and programming for emerging adults. She is a trained conciliator and has a passion for conflict-coaching and third-party mediation. In addition to preaching, guest lecturing in college classes, and a variety of public speaking engagements, she also writes and contributes to several publications such as: Christianity Today, AMEN (Anglican Multi-ethnic Network), Anglican Compass, and Mutuality Magazine. Rev. Dr. Moniz is ordained as a Deacon in the Anglican Church of North America. She received her academic and ministerial training at Berry College (B.S.), Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Trinity School for Ministry (DMin.). When she is not traveling with her husband, Michael, she enjoys gardening, playing music, and the outdoors.