Read 1 Corinthians 15:51–54.
Listen, I will tell you a mystery! (v. 51a)
When I talk to parents struggling to communicate the basics of faith to their children, I encourage them to learn to embrace a single word—mystery. So much about our faith is completely unknowable to human beings. How did God create the world out of nothing? Mystery. How can Jesus be fully God and fully divine at the same time? Mystery. How was Jesus raised from the dead? Mystery. Perhaps the most personal and profound mystery of all is this: What happens to us after we die? Paul explains it by saying we will not all die, but we will all be changed. This is the mystery.
On Easter morning all around the country, sermons are preached about new life, resurrection, and life after death. These sermons are inspiring and uplifting; they bring light to our darkness and hope to our despair, but for many, they are unsatisfying. I know this fact well even though I faithfully preach such a sermon every Easter. The reason these inspirational sermons are unsatisfying is that nobody—not me, not your pastor, not the Pope—nobody knows what happensafter we die.
Instead of trying to explain it, let’s embrace the mystery of it and give thanks to God Lent is a journey, and so is this life. May we never forget that among the many gifts God has given us, we have been given one more—the gift of not knowing. There is freedom in the mystery.
Enjoy the journey.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of us all. Amen.
These Holy Week Posts were published in the Fellowship of Prayer 2015 published annually by Chalice Press. Check out some of Chalice’s recent (and amazing) offerings such as: Sandya Rani Jha’s Pre-Post Racial America,Brian Christopher Coulter’s Be Holy, and Stephen Ingram’s Organic Student Ministry. Of course, my book Seamless Faith: Simple Practices for Daily Family Life is also published by Chalice Press in 2014.