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We will meet Again!
But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.” 1 Corinthians 15:35-38
When can we talk about death? It’s never an easy topic to have a conversation about, the subject can often appear to be so taboo, yet it is an event we must all face. It is not something we have a choice about or an event in our life that we can fail to show up for…yet we do not speak about it as part of the cycle of life. We live with our many questions and for some they remain answered and death is approached with such terror and fear. Many silently question, Is there life after death? Is death really the end? If there is life after death what will it be like? What will we be life? What is there to be made about the Resurrection? The Apostle Paul’s presentation in today’s text assists it readers to begin to understand the concept of Jesus’ Resurrection and its importance in response to those who challenge the truth of a bodily resurrection and its reality.
Paul presents the Christian response to these questions as part of his letter to the Corinthian Church, he is addressing the idea presented by some in the church that there is no Resurrection. The text focusses upon answering the following two questions, how are the dead raised? And what kind of body will they have? It was important for Paul to answer these questions about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the whole event forms the very foundation of the Christian faith. He argues that if Christ did not rise from the dead, then we as Christians witness to a lie and our testimony about God is false. Paul remarks that without the Resurrection, our Faith becomes futile and we are ‘to be pitied’.
The Resurrection in our terms simply means that someone who has died will be raised from the dead and restored to life as the person s/he was before. It is the step that follows death. What do we think of death? Fear it? Fear of death is a legitimate response as it is quite normal to fear the unknown and many Christians whom I have had the opportunity to have such a conversation we share a similar response, our answer to the question is both yes and no. Yes, because fear how we will die and no, because we do no fear what lies beyond death. The answer ‘No’ to fear is answered by the Believers’ confidence in Jesus’ death and resurrection. We can approach death with a sense of life as a continuation and the opportunity to boast the newest outfit on any catwalk … a new and transformed body.
Paul explains the process with such simplicity by using images found in nature; the planting and sowing of seeds. He explains the seed and its process of transformation from seed to plant, tree or fruit. The journey of the seed begins in one form though, it can only become what is shall be by first by being planted to die in the ground as part of its maturing; as part of its growth so that it can become something else. Yet, the seed and what it produces remain related though they are distinctly different. Believers’ life and death can be compared to the seed, we begin this journey of maturation in the human body, the body we have grown to know and at our death we are, metaphorically speaking, sown in the earth to rise to our new spiritual body. Wow! How amazing we rise to a newer version – a newer model of ourselves! A body that will last forever.
We can look back at Gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection and recall that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, the Disciples, those on the road to Damascus and many others. The reports do not record that He was visually recognised but that He was recognised by the things He said, by the things He did and by His scars of His Crucifixion that He shared. Yet they knew He was Jesus. It is further recorded that Jesus appeared and disappeared, He passed through walls. It was also proven that He was not a ghost, Jesus had risen bodily; He shared His scars to Thomas who doubted, and He ate and drank with the Disciples. We can question was He recognisable by revelation or by behaviour and actions? Whatever our answers, Jesus was raised bodily and He is the perfect example and demonstration of what will follow for all who believe in Him and His message of God’s love, forgiveness and grace offered to all as preached through the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. “…we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2
Will we be like the seed, first recognised by who we were yet physically different? It is a bit of a riddle or and possibly, too difficult a concept to grasp – but we need only to look, as Paul’s presentation suggest within nature and meditate on this great miracle of death to life transformation. We have the Caterpillar transformed to a Butterfly or the story of ‘Waterbug and dragonfly’ posted earlier this week. With all that we have understood we can celebrate that Resurrection is a transformation that takes us from one state to another, where we are essentially the same but distinctly different. We carry the seed of who we were into the body of who we become. In the life beyond this life we will be able to recognise each other in our new bodies, so at our death we can say to those who journey with us to that final moment…this is not goodbye but ‘au revoir’ – until we meet again!
Dear Father, we thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ for your love, grace and forgiveness that has been offered to us through Him and His coming to be with us in this world. We thank you that by His death we have a new life beyond this life we now know – a life with you forever in our glorious new bodies. Today we remember all those who grieve and ask that you would send in abundance, your peace and comfort to touch the hearts of all who mourn. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
For Tessa and family, For Frances and family…
Here is love vast as the oceans https://youtu.be/v8YOPj5TnUM
God be with you till we meet again https://youtu.be/1hvaysA1MYQ
(Posted 9th Aug)
We may not be meeting at present but we will be continuing to Pray for the present situation.
If you are looking for Spiritual support, especially at this time, please contact Pastor Joyce on 07904996026 or email Pastor@hobc.org.uk
It's okay not to be okay
God meets you where you are.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble"
Psalm 46. V1
Our Motto for 2020 Image- Fota Gardens, Cork, S.Ireland