A massive Easter theme as the whole story is about death and resurrection, but I was thinking about this as phase and pattern of life too.
We need death, sometimes things that were once full of life become redundant and need to die, so something new and beautiful can take its place, the classic example of this is of course the caterpillar which goes into its Chrysalis and comes out a butterfly (although some of us might argue that is only pseudo death).
I think sometimes we as Christians do play with pseudo death, we’ve not really died, we’ve just laid down for 30 seconds and held our breath, but the problem is when we do this we rob ourselves of very real resurrection.
Resurrection is so much more than re-branding and re-energizing a corpse.
Resurrection should never be mistaken for Resuscitation.
Resurrection can only follow death, real death.
Death has a sting, perhaps to admit something that has worked no longer works feels like failure?
Perhaps we have become so familiar with the status quo that we cannot imagine life without it?
Perhaps our very identity has become tied up with what has died/is dying.
Death feels final.
It is a laying down of visions and dreams, requiring us to trust in a resurrection that as yet cannot be seen.
We try to avoid death where possible, it is the last taboo in our society.
To be the one that administers death feels a massive responsibility, and yet somethings need to die, as it in kinder and more loving to elevate suffering that prolonging the agony.
Often everyone knows something has died, yet no one wants to admit that death has occurred, or is occurring, being the one who acknowledges the elephant in the room is a brave thing to do (often a bit like the child in the story of the Emperors’ new clothes, who noticed “the Emperor is in the nude!”) -Could God be calling you to be the Elephant spotter or the Child?
And yet without death we cannot have the glory of resurrection.
We have to pass through the sharpness of a Good Friday pain, the nothingness of Easter Saturday in order to witness resurrection on Sunday Morning.
We live in the moment, and we avoid the pain of Good Friday and the emptiness of Easter Saturday but leave us robbed of the glory of Easter day, resurrection day.
Jesus said that “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground AND DIES it remains a single grain of wheat, but when it dies it yields a harvest of 10, 20 or 100fold!”
Too often as Church and as individuals we want to stay as one grain of wheat, rather than experience death and come out the other-side with a hundred fold harvest.
It is about laying down what’s in your hand to be ready to pick up something new.
Leaving behind something in order to move forward into something else.
In the scariness of the uncertainty, sacrifice, loss and emptiness we discover the miracle of new life, greater life and a new harvest.