Why does God sometimes seem so casually ambivalent about the life and death issues that matter so much to us? And how come death sometimes comes in such an arbitrary way?
As we worshipped in church this morning (Easter Sunday) I had a vivid picture of life and death and saw that this seemingly indifferent attitude on God’s part can only be understood as the perspective of someone who sees both life and death from the outside.
I don’t think it’s an original analogy but it seemed to me that the experience we call ‘life’ is not unlike the experience of small impoverished children playing shove half-penny in semi dark room, our backs resolutely to the door . The room feels safe, secure, luxurious even but the reality is that beyond the room there is beauty a thousand times greater, light a thousand times brighter, and colours a thousand times richer.
And the only explanation for God’s casual attitude to death is that he exists in and has created this greater reality into which we are invited. Occasionally he leans slightly on the door and the light pours in through the crack but often we are more alarmed than comforted.
We call the door ‘death’ and it’s a big deal for us because we are not sure what is on the other side and we don’t much fancy the process of getting there. But Easter is all about the fact that Jesus drank the dregs of the cup called death, experiencing it in just as dreadful way as humanly possible so he understands our fears and has shared in our experience of pain. But he also reassures us that it is indeed only a door and on the far side of that door he is waiting to welcome us into that greater reality. What’s more he’s left the door on the latch, we don’t need a key, it’s isn’t difficult, some of us will fall through suddenly and some will linger here longer. From the view point of eternity, what’s a few days here and there?
(Don’t normally blog twice on same day but am off to Tanzania for a short trip so probably wont be blogging for a while…)