New Life/No Death
Capon, not Al, writes that “. . . far from being bad news, that inevitability of death turns out to be the best news the world has ever heard . . .” (Capon, Robert Farrar. The Foolishness of Preaching: Proclaiming the Gospel against the Wisdom of the World. W.B. Eerdmans, 1998).
What a stunning gift, this book, a gift to the world that is so desperate for good news, and yet the same world denies this very news. Here is the good news: death leads to true life by way of resurrection.
How? Why? These are questions for into-the-night cups of tea or coffee, for a corner table in the shadows, for lying on pillows strewn about a floor or whatever. But for here and now, we must only believe that it is true. And it is true, regardless of any belief. I know that you know this and believe. It is for the others.
Foolish preaching indeed, and may I ever be such a fool. And dear God, let me preach please, even as an adjunct.
I knew I wanted, on day three of this year, to write of resurrection. You know, death then in the grave then raised on the third day and so forth. And I wanted it to be the third post because of my fondness for a kind of triangular shape to prayer and such.
But as it turns out I am a fool in many ways, not just one (if only!). I wrote earlier today, and then again, and then an again which I forgot, and then another again saying that I’d write again and it would count as three because I asked for you to cut me some slack in the actual third by not counting it, so that this would be three. But I forgot “Animated . . .” as being three and wrote a fourth and now this is five. Oh well. Forgive this fool and let him go on writing please.
Indeed, death brings new life! It is happening in so many ways that I obviously am no longer able to keep count.
I can only speak of it obliquely here because there is no tea, no pillows, no table, and no real floor in a blog. Only words and images in two dimensions (discounting time) are useful.
I personally have experienced so many “deaths” recently that I dare not count them. You have too I know, and you may count them if you wish. But, they are bringing new life, are they not? It is glorious, the truth in it. The Music alone is evidence enough almost of new life. What wonder is present there again and again and today and many days. And each day brings a new dawn of hope after the light has faded into a kind of grave and then the moon stone rolls away bringing back the sun and more of it each of those days.
New persons, places and things, nouns all of them, and new verbs as well. And even the familiar and cherished person/nouns for whom I have beyond a fondness, even obliquley, have a new-life sort of verb pointed at them too. Same verb, new tense? Perfect tense perhaps.
It is amazing to me, and it seems as if there is no seam to the way it is all stitched together by the benevolent being we call God, for lack of any better word, seriously. Yes, stitched together.
And yet, there is more I know, more new life (and perhaps more deaths yet unseen, but it is the life that matters because death has no dominion). I have to go pray, so I will stop here.
There is so much more coming.
We are only on the edge . . .
Photograph “Even the edge is beautiful.” © 2019 Timothy Waugh