On Thursday we began reading in our lectionary from Chapter 15 of the 1st Letter to the Corinthians, an important source about the resurrection of the body. “I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.”
Some Corinthians denied the resurrection, and so In response Paul quotes a basic summary of Christian teaching that he and others received regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus. “For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” ( 1 Corinthians 15, )
Our preaching is empty, meaningless if there is no resurrection, Paul continues. To deny it means “ those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished…If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all.”
It’s going into fall in the Northeast USA now. Flowers are beginning to shrivel into dark balls, losing their beauty and going to seed. Flowers in our Mary Garden are falling to the ground and dying. But their seed says “We’ll live again.”
Good to spend awhile in a garden now, because seed is the analogy Paul uses in speaking of the resurrection of the body. Like the flower, we have our time, then we die. But we will live again.
We’re children of Adam, from dust, returning to dust. Yet, we’re members of Jesus Christ, who through the mystery of his death and resurrection gives us life, Paul says.
We’re children of the flowers too, let’s not forget. We came after they evolved 140 million years ago. Without the food, medicine and beauty they provide we cannot live. Is that why, I wonder, we call on them in times of death and celebrations of life? Maybe too, in times of uncertainty, like now, they give us wisdom.
Paul used them as a teacher, reminding the Corinthians that what “ is sown corruptible is raised incorruptible; what is sown dishonorable is raised glorious; what is sown weak is raised powerful; what is sown a natural body is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.”
Not only will we rise, but creation itself will rise again.