Thursday, May 24, 2012

How's Your Image?

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Scripture Reading--I Corinthians 15:42b-49

Many of us think there must be some way rationally to explain what happened that first Easter.  Moreover, many of us wrestle with what happens to the bodies and souls of loved ones and ourselves when we die.  We are tempted to think that our questions are unique to this modern, sophisticated, more advanced age in which we live.  But the people to whom Paul wrote had their questions, too.  Their questions took a different form than some of ours, but were no less perplexing.  Their question wasn’t so much whether the resurrection of the dead could have happened in some unique, miraculous one-time event.   No, many of them simply concluded that resurrection for ordinary people was just too good to be true.  Paul’s argument is complex, but logical.  Earlier in the letter, he’d made the point that if the dead aren’t raised, Christ isn’t raised, and this whole Christian enterprise is a great big painful waste of time!  Here, Paul advances his argument by claiming that we all bear the image of Adam—we are human, sinful, finite, and destined to return to the dust from which we came.  But we also bear the image of Christ, the man who was from dust like us, but also from heaven, and through whom we receive the gift of new identity and new life!  Our salvation begins now, but our future is God’s as well—even the future that begins the day we die! 

Thought for today:  Because we all bear Adam's image, we can be patient with each other's weaknesses; because we bear Christ's image, we see in ourselves and others great beauty and potential.

Prayer:  O God, help me to accept my human frailities, but help me also to allow the power of Christ's resurrection to transform me into the person you intend for me to be.

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