In the last few years, God has opened my eyes to the reality that death is an essential part of a living faith. I know what you’re thinking: “You’re a pastor, shouldn’t you have known that before?!” It’s a valid question. But for a while, it felt safer to ignore it.
You see, given the choice, I’d rather not die. Maybe it’s my innate survival instinct or maybe just good, Midwestern stubbornness. But, I wouldn’t choose death. I had no idea what a killer (pun intended) that is for a life of faith!
What I believed I’d prefer was to get better. I’d appreciate God’s help in making me a better person. That sounded nice and manageable. But when it came right down to it, becoming a “better person” still left me broken. It simply led to a version of myself that was a little less selfish, a little more kind, a little more O.K. with a muffin-top. The bottom line: I need a whole lot more than to get better. I NEED TO BE MADE NEW. The Apostle Paul is incredibly helpful:
For if we have been united with [Christ] in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:5)
This Holy Week, God lays out the beautiful news that the cross of Christ doesn’t make us a little better, it makes us brand-spankin’-new! We get to wake up Easter morning as a new creation, rising, WITH CHRIST, to newness of life!
So come! Come and wave palms; receive forgiveness in Christ’s meal; sing your way through the grief and pain of Good Friday; experience the empty tomb and God’s gift of new life!
Because with Christ, resurrection always comes after death, amen?!