Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Passage of Time

Six years ago I sat with our mother during her last night on earth. In some ways it seems like yesterday but in other ways the passage of time is very real. Our father is living with significant cognitive and physical challenges and each day in itself is an eternity for him. There are three new great-grandchildren who will never know her but two baby girls carry her name. 

The Queen of England is 93 years old today. Our mother, born six years later, was also named Elizabeth and the Princess was her girlhood role model. Mom carried herself with style and grace, just like the Queen and many others of that generation. She dreamed of living an active, healthy life into her 90’s. 

I roamed around meadows, ponds and streams today thinking about Mom and wondering if she has a window into our world. We humans imagine many things about the after life that bring us solace and comfort but there is no way of knowing the timelines of eternity.

Today is Resurrection Sunday. Our pastor preached from 1 Corinthians 15, the great (mystical) resurrection chapter of the New Testament. 

There are plenty of questions in the chapter and Paul’s answers are riddle-like to me. 

But someone may ask, "How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?"

Paul says,
What a foolish question! 
(I don’t think it is a foolish question)

When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. 
And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, 
but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. 
Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. 
A different plant grows from each kind of seed....

It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. 

Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 
Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. 
They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 
They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies.

1 Cor 15:35-39, 42-44a

Well, I understand seeds and I understand spring and when I am outdoors I feel my closest connection to God. Spring time is a yearly object lesson of resurrection from death. We count the passage of time on earth by seasons but we cannot fathom time on the other side of death.

Between the anniversary of Mom’s passing…April 22 (which is also Earth Day)...

to her birthday on May 5th.... 

and Mother’s Day a few days later…

Spring will unfold in extravagant beauty. And that gives me hope for eternity.