when death and resurrection are essentially the same idea


The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy! – Psalm 65:8

Sunset and resurrection:

Yesterday evening, walking back to my car after meeting with the Wednesday evening men’s covenant group, I glanced up to see this peaceful scene (above) playing out over the CLC. I thought about my friend Sandee, who would pass peacefully into her own sunset a little over an hour later (probably around sundown in Minnesota), and I thanked God for the continuous witness to the resurrection that we enjoy every single day.

IMG_9108A little earlier – just before dinner – I had grabbed a few images from the garden. The dogwoods are done, the azalea bushes are close to the end of their display, and the trees are all busting out with the light-green leaves of springtime. Now – as if to pick up where the dogwoods left off – we have four different colors of iris (and more) vying for attention in the back garden.

Simply put, the whole earth is involved in telling the story. And what a story it is!

It’s a story of birth, of new life, of spring, and growth, of maturity, of autumn, and – eventually – winter, and death. But then Easter plays in to the equation, and we have to realize that what we understand as death is really nothing more (or less) than rebirth into something new.

This past Sunday (yes, it seems a long, long time ago) Jesus set the new standard by reinventing the idea of resurrection. Resurrection – and I get into this in detail in my lenten book, Reaching Towards Easter – is a movement forward, not a return to the status quo. If we are indeed an Easter People, then death and birth are very much the same event.

IMG_9110It’s not just that we have a lot to look forward to in life beyond life; it’s more that we have much to celebrate now. This life as followers of Jesus is full with life-charged opportunities, invitations to live into our Easter faith.

So here is a sunset, and also some new flowers. Both tell the same story, and that is the story of life, of renewal, of celebration, and of new creation.

– We are so consummately blessed, in all that we are and all that will be – DEREK


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