April 14

By Pastor Judy

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. I Corinthians 15:53

Easter changed everything.  Jesus’ resurrection was a total game-changer.  It means the grave is not our final destination.  It means there is hope beyond the boundaries that limit us in this life.

These days, we are watching the daily death count.  Throughout the world, those numbers are rising steadily.  The United States, and the Bay Area in particular, is taking a big hit.

Death is real, and it is becoming less predictable.  In ancient Greece, one could count on about 39 good years.  As recent as 1890, that average life span had only increased to age 43.  Today, thanks to medical advances, that number is being pushed out considerably.  Most of us figure to live well into our 80s. But in the middle of a pandemic, that assurance is crumbling.

The story is told of John Quincy Adams who, at age 81, had already pushed his limits.  So when on a walk one day, a friend stopped him and asked, “And how is John Adams today?” Mr. Adams replied, “John Adams is very well, thank you.  But the tenement he has inhabited these many years is in a sad state of disrepair.  It sags in the corners, its roof leaks, and when the winds blow it creaks and groans in every joint.  I suspect that John Adams will soon be forced to seek other quarters.  But John Adams himself is very well, thank you.”

This pandemic is bringing home the reality that the temporary housing we call the human body won’t last forever.  While in some ways it is pretty resilient, its walls will inevitably succumb to the storms of infection, or heart disease, or aging.  As one writer put it, “At last the roof caves in, and out you go.  But not to homeless wanderings.  You rub your eyes and see before you the open doors to mansions in an eternal city.”  And your body will take on immortality.

My prayer for you today is that your temporary dwelling will stand firm against this particular pandemic.  That your spirit will not be beaten down against the constant dripping of unforeseen difficulties that have come your way.  That you will come through this not only whole, but better and stronger than before.  We will get through this.

But the Resurrection is a game-changer.  We have a greater hope than most people; that hope will pull you through.  It will give you peace and even joy in midst of your daily difficulties.  The life God has given you is greater than you know; he has clothed you with immortality.

Let us pray. “Lord Jesus, you have given me new life today.  And where there is life, there is hope.  Give me hope today, and help me to spread that hope to all I meet.  Amen.”       

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