Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday in Lent 3

Romans 6:1-11
v. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

[My apologies, I did today's reading yesterday, so this is Friay's reading, going backward in the text.]

One of the purposes of Lent is to prepare us to celebate Easter with as much of our whole self as we can muster. One of the things Paul tells us is that our Easter celebration is not only a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, but of ourselves as well. We are united with Christ in both his death and his resurrection.

We claim this at every baptism when we bless the water: We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection.

The Church from the very beginning has declared that we are people of the resurrection. What does this mean?

In Paul's terms, it means that we are no longer slaves to sin. We are free to live a life of wholeness and grace. Do we still sin? Yes. Do we still suffer? Yes. Do we still die? Yes. But people of the resurrection know that sin and suffering and death are not the last words. Resurrection is always the last word. Even when death appears to beat us, we believe there is more. As the Prayer Book says, at death "life is changed, not ended" (382) and "even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia" (499).

Our resurrection is a fact. The question is, how can we live as if it were true? How can we not only hope for resurrection in the future, but live it in the present?

Claiming a bit more of our resurrection is one of Lent's great projects. What bit more is God calling you to claim? What's standing in the way?

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