As we look around us in this season and see death – seemingly unjust or unexpected or unfair – it would be easy to spend a lot of time in sorrow, mourning and lament. This is an appropriate, loving, God-honoring response to death.
But what do we do, then, with sentiments like those in Ecclesiastes 3:
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh…”
When do we know it’s time to turn the page? These are hard questions. I wonder if there’s a different way to think about this? What if the most honoring, yet forward moving thing we can do is to come fully alive, now?
I’m reminded here of another scripture, this one from the apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, unpacking the truth of how the coming of Jesus has changed things:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
It is possible, as far as Paul is concerned, for us to be breathing – alive as it were – and yet dead.
Most of us can probably relate to this. We’ve felt dead in our souls – be it from sorrow and pain or from our own foolish pursuits. But take heart! We can come fully awake! That is the invitation of Jesus today. To wake up from whatever sleep we are in, and let his light shine on and in and through us.
How? We listen to his teaching in the gospels, imitate his way of living and loving, follow his model of sacrificial service. And as we do, he promises, though we die to ourselves, we live.
Wake up, friend! Come alive today!
Grace and Peace,