On New Years Day we put our dog Frazier to sleep. He’s been a part of our family for over fifteen years.I bawled - snot dripping bawled.In the midst of the heartache I heard the faint whisper of God, "One must walk towards death in order to see resurrection."My mind was taken to the women who walked towards Jesus’ tomb. (Luke 24) They walked towards death. It was that walk that allowed them to experience the resurrection.I know this but I’m learning it in new ways. It’s kind of like the analogy Rob Bell made in reference to knowing Jesus. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, “You can study lips & know a lot about lips but studying lips is very different from being kissed on the lips.” New Years Eve was spent reflecting upon the past and dreaming about the future. The past few years have been full of change and whenever change happens something must die in order for the new to be birthed.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
I’m officially an empty nester. That means things are changing with my kids. It takes tremendous energy to raise kids. Now I'm having to learn how to redirect that energy towards something else.I've been married for 26 years -24 of which where spent as a family of five - now it's just us two. I still like him. But being an empty nester has spurred much contemplation about what's next. In reference to marriage I'm asking, "What has been good? What hasn't?" Truth is most of what was goes with us but some needs to be left behind. Die. Be buried.After 20 plus years of being in the Bible church tradition I've shifted to attending a liturgical church. Along the way some of my theology has altered. (I still really like Jesus.)My body is changing. Sometimes it seems like my body is my adversary rather than my partner. Let’s just say I have leaky capillaries, loose joins and I’m graying! Decay is happening. I suspect, at least in this area, newness comes on the other side.Change happens in life. It happens in culture, church, ideas, dreams, passions, relationships, body etc. It permeates our lives - some seasons more than others -regardless, it requires something die so new can come.And that aint easy. Walking towards death isn't easy. It's not natural. We avoid it at all costs.On New Years Eve we reflected upon the past and dreamt about the future.On New Years Day we buried our dog.It was no mistake that Frazier, whom represented much of our past, was being buried on New Years Day 2014. It was as if God was demonstrating death and newness all in one big swoop.That's the hope in resurrection - isn't it? We trust death is followed by resurrection. Not just in our salvation but for all areas of our life where dead things exist.
Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. (John 11:25 NLT) And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Rev. 21:5
At the beginning of 2014 we said good-bye to our dog and hello to whatever new awaits us.