Live long and prosper!
"Live long and prosper" would say Mr Spock. Played by actor Leonard Nimoy in the well-loved science fiction series and movies of Star Trek, Mr Spock came from the planet Vulcan. Leonard Nimoy died this week, but the Jewish actor and director will be well remembered and revered for his contribution to the entertainment industry. At 83, it might be said that Leonard Nimoy lived a long life himself. His legacy will certainly be long lived.
Spock, in Star Trek, revealed that the expression "Live long and prosper" was a familiar greeting of his people, the Vulcans. In much the same way that we say "Goodbye" which came from a long ago phrase "God be with you", the saying was often said when meeting and parting. Trekkies (as fans of Star Trek are known) will know the precise occasions in the episodes and movies that this expression was used.
But the expression is not the sole preserve of the Star Trek series. In another form, and long ago, similar words were written to a man called Gaius. John, the last surviving apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote to a local Christian leader on some problems in his church. He wrote: “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2, New American Standard Bible - NASB)
John wanted Gaius to know that God cared about every aspect of his life. We can take reassurance from this as well. God cares for us, and wants us to do well, to be well. He wants us to have true health in every area of our lives. But it is also true that these blessings are not automatic, nor is prosperity guaranteed for every Christian.
Apostle Paul said:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Phil 4:12 (NIV)
We also need to be mindful of the direction: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6 verse 33, NIV). We need to get our priorities right. We need to work towards having our soul in good shape, but not from a desire to somehow earn the promises of God, or to impress others with our goodness and having an eye out for a reward.
Our desire is to have a peaceful life, consisting of many long years of good health. Should this not be our lot, the eternal life gifted to us by Christ's sacrifice will afford us all the long life, health and prosperity we could ever have wanted.
May you therefore take hold of God's gift and "Live long and prosper".