From the Pastor’s Desk:
“Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” - Romans 6:4
On Tuesday I received a phone call that changed the entire week for me. Early Tuesday morning, a dear friend and colleague passed away unexpectedly. He simply went to sleep and never woke up. My heart and prayers go out to his wife (another dear friend) and their three beautiful kids. His death at 43 was shocking. I don’t think the words exist for what his family is feeling.
When a loved one passes, we are reminded of our own mortality - that someday we too will die. At least for as short time, it causes us to reconsider how we are living our lives and what our priorities are. Bri and I went out for lunch together that day, something we haven’t done on our own in a very long time. When we hugged our kids, our hugs were a little tighter and lasted a little longer. I began to try to think of things I could do now that would lessen the pain and turmoil if I simply didn’t wake up one day, because the reality is, every one of us is terminal.
This is part of the reason that Lent is my favorite season in the Church calendar. The whole point of this season is to have us do the work of getting our house and our lives in order. We set aside time to remember we are dust and to dust we will return. We take this season to consider our lives and our priorities and change them for the better. Then, not only do we discover on resurrection Sunday that death is not the end but, as Paul reminds us in Romans 6:4, we can walk in newness of life NOW.
The promise of the resurrection is not a “someday” kind of promise. It is a promise for right now. A promise that says we can choose, in this moment or in any moment that follows, to walk in that new life. A life that has better priorities. A life that focuses on faith and family. A life that remembers with each breath that the next one isn’t guaranteed, so we need to make this one count. A life that values people above buildings and institutions. A life that is defined by the grace and mercy and love of Jesus Christ.
This Easter, it is my prayer that you will remember you are dust and to dust you will return. May your eyes be opened to where your priorities are askew, and may you take the opportunity God has given us in Jesus Christ to walk in newness of life.
Lacing up my sneakers,
Don’t forget to check out the “Grace Cubed” podcast wherever you get your podcasts, or go to www.anchor.fm/gracecubed
Cherry Hill United Methodist Church