From the Rev: Resurrected
Today is most important day in Christendom. It is the day that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. It is the day when we those who have embraced Christ are reconciled to God the Father. It is the day when we are awakened out of spiritual deadness to new life. It is the day that is above all days – until the next coming of Jesus to call to himself all who belong to him.
On this day, I find it compelling to look at my own life and see the places where I need resurrection. Where are the places that need to die, in order to be raised to life in a new, whole, restored way? Where are the places that need to be healed? What parts of me can only be touched by God himself?
I find it interesting to consider this metaphor of death, dying, resurrection, new life played out in the football world where I serve as chaplain. Of course, there are players whose careers are “resurrected” when they join a new team. There are players who have career threatening injuries and receive dead tissue to replace that which has been injured and it “comes to life” again. There are organizations that go through leadership changes and suddenly spring to life with success again. In all of these examples, there is a microcosm worth studying of the necessity of having certain endings, certain “deaths” so that a person (or an organization/institution) can have new life again.
These were words that Jesus himself powerfully spoke before his death as he illustrated the power of a “good death.”
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John 12:24)
Jesus was speaking of his own death which was to come and the necessity of dying. We often resist death because of the pain, the suffering, how uncomfortable it is (I am speaking of more than physical death). But sometimes we need to embrace death because of the potential that is held in a life transformed and new being held within it.
A player, traded, must come to terms with the ending of his former team. A player or coach who is fired from his job or at the end of a career must embrace this “death” in order to begin to look for the next opportunity. As Christians, we must put ourselves to “death” in order that Jesus might live through us – his love, his grace, his compassion. And all of us will eventually face physical death. The promise, though, for those who have embraced Jesus, is that we will have a new life. Gloriously restored, we will have been resurrected forever – to never face death again, we will have conquered death, suffering, pain forevermore through the power of Jesus. What a glorious day that will be.
Rev. Brad Kenney