Life Is Present
Scott Murphy, First Presidency
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” -Luke 18:1-8 NRSV
I am looking out my window on the woodlands behind my home. Where I live, it is the “dead of winter.” In this space, every tree stands in its barren state. Some may even struggle to call this image of woodlands “sacred space” because it looks as though death has come and life has left.
Yet, experience reminds me that life has not left; life is still present. Deep inside each of those dead-looking trees is the presence of life waiting and preparing to come forth again in a new way. In God’s created order, we know life comes again. But if life will come again in God’s created order, how much more will the fullness of life come in those created as the image bearers of God?
The simple answer comes in the resurrection of Jesus. In the power of the Resurrection story is the continual reminder that death is not final. It is life-eternal life-that is final.
Our lives, at times, may feel like the barren woodlands. But the sacredness of life is not absent. Within each of us lies new life waiting to come forth.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that in the new life that came forth in Christ, we also experience something new. “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
While death looks as if it has left its mark on the woodlands I see out my window, the amazing story of Easter awakens me to a new way of seeing. Life is coming, because life is present.
However barren life may feel at times, the resurrection of Jesus is God’s message that new life awaits us. And that life is filled with God’s everlasting love for you.
Spirit, now live in me.
Breathe deeply and enter a few minutes of silence. Be attentive to where you sense new life emerging in you. Search your memories of the previous day. When did you notice the sacredness of life in surprising places or forms in the world around you?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.