Grace and peace from God our Creator, hope in our Redeemer Jesus the Christ, and the promised gifts of the Holy Spirit are with you, always. Amen.
Praise the Lord that the sun is shining!
Praise the Lord that we are mostly happy and mostly healthy!
Praise the Lord that when we are mostly unhappy and mostly unhealthy, we are not alone!
Praise the Lord for old friends and for new ones!
Praise the Lord for ends and for beginnings!
Praise the Lord for adventures and for homecomings!
Praise the Lord for struggles and for reconciliation!
Sorry if you’re expecting an answer. This is not a question for one sermon or one church or one nation—but we are better for it if we wrestle with these big questions again and again and again. Together.
The part of this dying to life paradox that is comforting, after all, is “not that we won’t die, but that if we die for [Jesus’] sake, we will live again. Like Jesus, we will live a transformed life.”
But Shelley Douglass continues to keep it real, writing, “We cannot know as we begin to act what the outcome will be. We can only know that as we respond to the mercy shown to us by showing mercy, we invite the death of our former selves. And we believe—sometimes barely—that when the dust has settled…we will regain our lives.” Mmm.