"Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life."
~ Jude 21
Following last night's Ash Wednesday service, once everyone was gone, and the lights were turned off in the sanctuary, I sat and realized how life transcends death. Lent reminds us of the limited time that Jesus had remaining while walking with his disciples. It's as if Jesus invites us to sit and meditate on our own mortality, while continuing to live each day.
This morning while at my doctor's office I ran into a friend who had a stroke almost two months ago. As he shared with me, in a loud voice that seemed to fill the whole office due to his hearing being effected, he announced to all of us in the room that, "I guess God found a way to get my attention!"
Everyone in the room looked at him, "And I guess that I am talking loud enough that I have everyone's attention here!"
He laughed and reminded me that we don't always know what life will bring us.
Contemplating how we encounter each day is a life-long process of our faith. I have to admit, I was so glad to see how well he was doing after seeing him in the hospital and just after he had been discharged. He still has so much more healing to do, and that's just what I can see on the outside!
Each one of us bear struggles that we keep to ourselves. It's not like we all have a milestone health crisis that suddenly reminds us just how mortal we are. As I shared the words, "From ashes you were created, and ashes you shall return," yesterday with so many folks, I realize my words are the same words that have been shared by Christians for thousands of years.
It's on days like yesterday that I accept the reality of mortality of this life, but also, that there is "more" to this life than simply living and dying. Our imperfections open for us the vision of the perfect life that God through and in Jesus has promised each of us!
Paul reminds us that we are not to be distressed, even when we encounter hardship. Somehow we are to look at our life, no matter what the condition, and to live it without despair. The greatest words my grandmother shared with us were these, "The important thing in life is not so conquer, but to simply fight well."
Sitting in church last night I recognized the broken body of Jesus and the resurrection that I carry each day within me.
As long as we possess life within us, we carry with us the death of Jesus, but also the resurrection.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.