So this is a post about TCC and Theology. So clearly Spring is a good place to start. =P
Apparently Winter lives in the lake in Como Park, and you use the torpedoes there to kill it. (This is all according to the Brewplex guys + Ben) Now, I’ve been known to call this the Land of Eternal winter, and I don’t want to speak too soon, but it sure looks like spring might finally be here!
Makes me think of this:
“When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”
Props to those of you who know the reference. =)
So here’s my thoughts on the sermon today. It was on Luke 7:11-17, where Jesus raises the widow’s son. *Insert shameless plug for TCC and Pastor Bryan*.
So here are our guiding questions today.
What gives life?
What leads to death?
Can the dead be brought back?
We desire life, and not only life, but abundant life. The good life. What does it take to have a good life?
If the answer is getting at least 15 minutes snow exposure a day, MN wins! (Which reminds me, I have to increase the snow count – there’s still snow on the ground)
“You want the good life, you break you back, you snap your fingers, you snap your neck.” All kinds of things can tell you how to improve your life, but at the end, death will come. We all know this. I think the psychologists/philosophers sometimes refer to our fear of impending doom as ontic existential angst.
So here’s the situation. A woman’s husband is already died, making her a widow, and now her one and only son lays dead too, their relationship broken by death. Not only is this emotionally devastating for her, it was probably also economically fatal, as he would have been her provider. On the life-death continuum, she is on the progression from life to death. (She’s even on the way to a funeral!). She’s probably in the throes of ontic existential angst. Her son dying doesn’t bring life. It destroys it.
Then, Jesus comes along. The woman has probably never met Jesus, and had not asked him to intervene. But he is moved by compassion and tells her “Do not weep.” The crowd is probably thinking Who are you to tell this grieving woman that? Can’t you see her son is dead? No one can bring back the dead!
“Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak…” Luke 7:14-15
(According to Jewish custom, touching a bier would make Jesus unclean (closer toward death on the death-life spectrum). But this doesn’t stop him. Truly he is our Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness, who bears our iniquities , and who became sin for us, that we might become righteous.)
As Bryan said, “Dead people are not good at moving!!” They are excellent at lying there, and can beat you at a silence completion every time, but they don’t move, and don’t talk. This is not a typical occurrence.
So the people know they are witnessing a miracle, and give glory to God, saying “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” But truly A greater prophet than Elijah is here. God Incarnate is the one visiting among them. God Himself is doing this act. And even the dead wake at the command of their Maker.
After Jesus wakes the dead, he returns the young man to his mother. In this way, Jesus not only restored physical life to the young man, but also restores life to the widow, healing the emotional, social and economic deathtrap of her life. The widow’s encounter with Jesus tells of his compassion to the grieving. His emotion tells us about God: God is not complacent when we have suffering, grief and heartache. No! Rather, He is compassionate, and breathes life into our dead relationships, our depression, our hopelessness, and lingering decay. He heals the great divide between us and God. To use Bryan’s paraphrase of the Sermon on the Plain: “Happy are you who weep now, for the compassion of your God will give you laughter in heaven forever.”
The compassion of Jesus can and will pursue you, even if you aren’t looking.
So how can we thus answer our questions?
What leads to death? Detachment from God, the giver and sustainer of life, leads to death.
What gives life? Can the dead be brought back? Jesus is the one who gives life to the dead.
And we also get to answer a bonus question!
How much to we bring to our salvation? None. Like the young man, we were lying dead. Jesus came and restored us to life, he made our dead faith breathe.
Song of the Post: “Don’t Kid Yourself, You need a Physician” by Anathallo