Last year my dear father-in-law died and 10 days ago my aunt died. As I approached the receiving line where my cousins and their wives stood, I remember standing in that very spot next to my husband. The brokenness of relationships in my own life and the emotion that is easy to keep at bay when going about my everyday life, it crept up and suddenly it felt alright to be vulnerable. I told a friend the day after, vulnerability is acceptable when you are in the room with a dead body.
After the Red Sox won the world series last year, a local news station played this song remembering those who had lost their lives in the Boston Bombing and how the Red Sox helped those families but also helped heal the city with their spirit of pulling for one another and loving their teammates as brothers. In a small way they inspired us but in a larger way the families who were affected greatly by the bombing especially those whose family member died in the act of terror inspired the city of Boston including our beloved Red Sox.
Lots of people Christian or otherwise believe that death is a doorway. Being a Christian, I can only proclaim that it is a profound mystery, one that requires me to have faith because my eyes may deceive me by what I see.
“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
x“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 y“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1stCorinthians 15
What if we are being changed in this life? What if the Word of God is true? In 2Corinthians the writer declares to the Corinthians, “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” Could it be that Jesus the bodily Resurrected Lord is what we “behold” and in so doing we are in the midst of a transformation?
But wait Jesus is not here, He is at the right hand of The Father. “Behold” means to see or observe. If we could physically see the bodily Resurrected Lord Jesus then there would be no need of faith. Saying Yes, we are being changed, the Word of God is true and we are beholding the bodily Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ means that we are believing things that we can not see.
Thomas, one of Jesus twelve disciples, he said unless I can see and touch him, I will never believe. Thomas fished his wish! He did get to see and touch The Risen Christ but not only that he ate with HIM. Yes, he ate with HIM. And when Thomas did see Him, Jesus told him that blessed are those that have not seen Me and yet believe. (from John’s gospel chapter 20)
Today I am embracing the changes in my life: living life again as a couple, being a woman in her late 40s, beginning the process of preparing to re-enter the workforce, being an active part of the body of Christ, starting a new blog! and of course, being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another 😉
Death of someone we love makes us look at our own life. All of us are changing as we get older but we can be participants in the changes. We don’t have to just let it happen to us. To actively participate in our own lives is a gift. It is a gift we give to God and others and in turn that in itself is a gift that gives back to us. We will all be richer for it.
Live life today – it could be your last!