“The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”
~ 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
Years ago a pastor friend of mine always referred to the church as, "The people of resurrection." I think for him it somehow made this life that we are all living a little easier.
We all have problems, especially when you consider the world at this moment in time. We are not only faced with our own need to distance ourselves from one another, but we are also confronted with the fact that people are dying and there is death. It is not the happy ending to our life's struggle, nor has it ever been hidden from us. As we look to the resurrection, we realize that the resurrection is God's expression of faithfulness to Jesus and to all of God's children.
The stone being rolled away and the empty tomb is the action to God's words to Jesus that Jesus is God's, "beloved Son", and that love is everlasting.
While we too cannot avoid our own dying experience, God also speaks to us and reminds us that we are the beloved children and that God's love for us is everlasting as well.
So many of my conversations with hospice patients is not about how they will die, or when. Many of them already have a good understanding of their own illness journey, and by the time I meet them, they have already been diagnosed with the life-limiting illness or condition that brings them on to hospice. No, most of my conversations have to do with heaven, and what heaven will be like? How will it look? And how will we all know one another?
The resurrection for us is God's way of revealing to us that nothing that belongs to God will ever disappear. We will always belong to God. Remember the valley of the shadow of death that the 23rd Psalm speaks of? Within the context David shares, "Thou are with me."
Belonging to God means that God's hold on us is stronger than death. Love is stronger than death.
The resurrection doesn't provide the answers to our questions about life after death. In fact, in many ways the resurrection invites us to a place where we are silent, without the questions, but where we find simply... trust.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.