From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 5th Sunday in Lent

Hi everyone,

So it was a beautiful day yesterday and we tried to take full advantage of it by leaving the house at around 4:30 in the afternoon (or is that considered early evening?). In my defence, I had some work that I needed to finish. Oh and sleep that needed to be slept.

But when the time was right, we just walked to the school to play at the playground. That was all fine and good, but the interesting part was the walk home. That nice walk after the kids are all pooped out from the strenuous play, that is when the honesty comes out (or the nonsensical drivel, you know either/or).

Anyway, the talk somehow got to the size of the universe, and one of the kids said that they heard this theory about the universe growing to the point that it can no longer retain heat as whatever heat energy the universe has would be dissipated over such a vast area that everything would just freeze. This theory is aptly named “the big freeze” (it’s a real thing apparently, feel free to look it up).

That was interesting and all, but also a little morbid. I didn’t want this child of mine to go off thinking that life had no meaning as the universe would eventually end anyway, so I reassured them that while the big freeze might very well be true and all life in the universe may very well end in a cold and freezy death, that doesn’t mean that we have no purpose in our own circle of influence and effect. We have no control over what the universe does so we needn’t worry about that. All we do have control over is how we act, how we relate to each other, and what kind of good we can contribute to our society and world.

And then the subject promptly changed to how a kid playing in their front yard was just at the same playground as we were. *shrug*

Here are the readings for next week:
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11

John 11:1-45

The theme of death seems to run pretty rampant through these readings, but not just any kind of death (like there are so many varieties). At the beginning of the the passages, death is painted as bleak, drab, and final. There is a sense of loss and sorrow. There’s even a point where Jesus weeps.

But then we’re shown how death isn’t final. Death isn’t as bleak as we initially take it. Death doesn’t have the last word. At the same time, death happens. It’s inevitable. We just can’t avoid it.

This isn’t to belittle any of our experiences with death, for sure death hurts and affects us deeply. But the point is that even in that death, in our hurt and pain, in our sense of loss, there is still life. We can find joy and healing. God lifts us up and reminds us who we are.

So we needn’t be worried about the inevitable. Jesus wasn’t. We needn’t feel bad for feeling bad. Jesus didn’t. And we especially needn’t give up in the face of death thinking that it is the end of everything. Jesus most certainly would never. Instead, Jesus found life. Jesus brought healing. Jesus showed us all that even in the face of death, we continue to be God’s people, gifted and blessed with grace and mercy.

This of course doesn’t take away death, but it does take away death’s sting. Knowing that death isn’t exactly the end, we are then motivated to live the life we have now, full of love and service and worship to our God who redeems and saves us with a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Alex Gruber on Unsplash

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