Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. What does this mean to me in my life? If I do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead and is sharing his life with me, then he is merely a great historical figure who impresses me. But right now he is alive in me and in others and in the world around me. In the words of a popular hymn, we sing: "He lives! He lives! Jesus is alive in me! Its no longer I who live; but Christ who lives in me".
We face many aspects of living and dying everyday. When I look at the wonders of God's creation I marvel at the wonder of my being, made in the image and likeness of God. Psalm 8 reminds me that I am part of this creation and this universe. Everything calls me to praise and thank God the Creator who holds me in the hollow of his hand. A friend sent me some beautiful pictures from National Geographical on the email. The Divine Artist is calling me to be fully alive to all that is within and around me, that is true, good and beautiful. Every human being reveals to me the love and life of the Creator. I need to look beneath the veneer of shape, colour, size, symmetry, to discover the Christ, living in me and in every person I meet.
I am called to be life-giving in my words and actions to each person I meet, whether it be through a kind word, a helpful action, a listening heart, a smile, a hug, a word of appreciation, affection or of encouragement. The Jesus in me sees the Jesus in others and it is a moment of praise and thanks.
When with God's grace, I overcome temptation, repent of my sins and turn to God to receive new life, open my life in prayer or listen to the life-giving word of God with faith, reach out to others in love or humble service, forgive someone who hurt me from my heart, that risen life increases in me.
I also see death all around me. Injustices, hatred, revenge, exploitation, waste when so many are in dire need, selfishness, disregard for the feelings of others, despair, self-worship, are so many forms of death and dying. This morning I met a house-bound elderly lady. Although she needs Oxygen to breathe, every little while, and has lost her husband and two sons, she was smiling and peaceful. Death and dying are a physical part of ageing. Every moment of death can become a moment of resurrection, when we open our lives to the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. Yes, there is life in the midst of death, when we focus on Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life. We are pilgrims passing through this world. He has gone before us to prepare a place for us. (Jn 14:2f)
We live in a busy world, constantly meeting deadlines and rushing from one activity to another. No doubt we have to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, send us on mission and act through us. There is no time to waste. We have to be dynamic and use all the resources and opportunities God gives us.
But we also need from time to time to pause, to listen, to be renewed and replenished by the Word and the Spirit. We need to rest in the Spirit. We rejoice in the life of the Risen Lord, which we share with one another right now. Amen.