Romans 6:5, 9-11
For if we have been united with him (Christ Jesus) in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his… We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died once [as a physical human being], but the life he now lives, he lives to God. So, you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in [the resurrected] Christ Jesus.
A Word of Hope
Today’s Scripture reading are some words of Paul to the young Christians in Rome. Today, if you ask people: “What will happen to you when you die?” Often, you get a blank stare which resembles the eyes of a deer in the headlight of an approaching car. Some will say: “I’ll go to heaven”; whereas some will freely admit that they believe they already have a reserved spot in hell. However, a significant group will have no answer or they will talk about fading away in sleep to nothingness, nonexistence.
Each of these individuals is deeply invested in their current life circumstances, their health, possessions and prestige; however, they seem to have made little investment (limited interests) in their existence after death. There will be an existence after death for each human. Even those who spurn the welcoming embrace of a loving God will not evaporate into nothingness at death. An afterlife experience was guaranteed at the moment of universal Creation; because our universe was created with an ultimate purpose. And that divinely inspired purpose is for humanity to have an authentic and intimate relationship with the Creator God!
Nothingness after death has nothing to do with it. We were created to be in relationship. Paul often preached that our relationship with the Creator God should be like the vibrant relationship Jesus had with his Abba Parent. The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates to us that such an authentic and vibrant relationship with God is not stamped out by physical death; rather it is resurrected into a new and more vibrant relationship which has no end. We are offered an eternity to be spent in the presence of God or not. But it is not a free ticket offered just because we were born on planet Earth.
We must recognize God as our creator, welcome the divine embrace and invest our life’s effort living up to our part in a vibrant relationship with the Holy One. Jesus’ words of love, his life and resurrection guide and inspire us along this path to an eternal relationship with God. It is my hope that every week of Eastertide will greatly bless you, and the resurrected presence of our Lord will guard you throughout each day.
All praise be yours, O risen Lord, from death to endless life restored, both you and our Maker, we adore and Holy Spirit ever more.” (Easter doxology to Jesu dulcis memoria.)
“Yours, O God, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty. Alleluia!” (An ancient acclimation of praise)
Donald (Luke) Day
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare