Wednesday, November 02, 2022

On being dead or alive, part 1


I think most people would say that you are born, you are alive, perhaps for three-score-years-and-ten, you die, and then you are dead. This is not the Christian view. Fundamental to Christian faith is the belief that we are (made) alive in Jesus Christ. There are those who are alive in Jesus who have yet to die, and those who are alive in Jesus who have died, but these latter ones are not dead. Rather, the dead are those who are unable or unwilling to recognise, with thanksgiving and devotion, the life that is given in Jesus. Just as those who are alive in Christ include those who have yet to die and those who have died, so also, those who are dead include some yet to die and some who have died. That is to say, from a Christian view, there are plenty of people living among us, breathing and walking around, who are dead; who are yet to come alive.

The Christian pattern, then, is that you are born, you are dead, and then you are alive, and alive forever. Indeed, baptism is a burial, with Jesus, and a passing through death to life, with Jesus.

Life and death are entirely transformed for the Christian. It is not that they are spiritual categories rather than physical or material ones, but, rather, that our material bodies cannot be separated from a greater reality that catches them up within it.

Today is the Feast of All Souls or the Faithful Departed. They are not dead, but alive in Christ, as we are alive in Christ. We are one, in Jesus. They are not in another room, near by; we are held together in the person of Jesus. And Jesus spreads a table where we can sit together, Jesus, and all the alive, seen and unseen. Breaking bread together. Conversing. What a feast!


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