Monday, April 17, 2006

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

We rise from the joy of Easter Sunday to the Monday after. What kind of day will it be? Monday can seem like a descent. In the world which most know, which popular culture reinforces, Monday, the first day of the work week, presses down like a large stone rolled over life. What kind of day will this Monday, the Monday after Easter, be?

Jesus did not die on a Friday – that Friday we know as Good Friday – to redeem Mondays for us and make us happy about them. Yet because he rose on a Sunday – that Sunday we know as Easter – Mondays can never be the same. The week can never be the same. Life can never be the same. On Good Friday the old days died. On Easter Sunday all days became new.

The question is whether – this Monday, this week, and the days which follow – we will live in the new days or not. If yes, how will we live in them?

The answer to both questions lies in death and resurrection. In Jesus’ once-for-all death and resurrection, our old self must die, and our new self rise. Our old days must die, and our new days begin. In these new days, by the power of the risen Jesus in-Spirited within us, we must make choices to give our self to God and to our neighbor in faith, hope, and love rather than mistrust, despair, and hate.

This connects with Paul’s affirmation of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15. As Paul reminded the Christians in Corinth, in and by this good news we are saved. Jesus died for us. Jesus rose for us. Not figuratively, but actually. Thus he made life new for us. Not figuratively, but actually. We stake life itself on this good news, or we have heard it in vain. Therefore, we must dwell decisively in these new days, in this new life, by letting our old self die and our new self rise in such truth, beauty, and goodness that we can only begin to imagine. Mondays should never be the same.

Gregory Strong

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