Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. -1 Corinthians 15:51-52
This Lent, we have been looking at what it means to be created for community, and as we move into Easter and Holy Week, the miracle of new life is springing up around us everywhere we look. Looking with hope toward Easter is the most natural thing we can do as Christians. Even as the earth is filled with signs of death and destruction – at this writing the bombs are falling in Ukraine, anti-transgender legislation is being presented in state governments around the country, climate change is rearing its inevitable head, and the list goes on. Even amid all this, we are people of hope. Martin Luther once wrote:
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
As we move through the world, it is imperative that we watch for the rings, the circles, the signs of death moving toward new life. The cycle of death, mourning, burial, and then new life is built into every aspect of our lives together, just as it is for nature.
For the caterpillar to become a butterfly, it must die. For the tree to rest and bear fruit, it must lose its leaves with a dramatic flair. For humans, watching
those we love move on in death (or myriad other ways) allows the space for new love to come.
As we walk together as a congregation, it is essential that we take time to process and grow, dream and revise, imagine and listen. Like the caterpillar, it is my hope that we can’t even imagine the wonders God has in store for this little corner of Seattle. It’s spring, and new life is coming. Have you planted your apple tree yet?