Pentecost, Thursday, Year B

Inspired by 1 Corinthians 15:42b-49

“Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:49 (NRSV)

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. These words that are heard on Ash Wednesday and at burials of the dead respectively remind us that we are creations, given the gift of life by the Creator but possessing nothing of our own. Our bodies were born of earthly elements, they are tied to the earth, and they will return to the earth.

But because of the grace of God through Jesus Christ, we are more than our bodies. Jesus Christ, Son of God, became flesh and lived as a human being. His body was born of earthly elements, and it was tied to the earth. He experienced pain and pleasure, hunger and satisfaction, exhaustion and contentment, just as we do. When he was nailed to the cross, he suffered as much as the two very human thieves on the crosses next to him suffered, as much as any of us would suffer. But when he died, though he was buried in a tomb, he did not return to the earth. He was raised, body and spirit, and through the power of his resurrection we are promised the same.

This life is not all there is. Dust is not all we have to look forward to. God in Christ broke into the human, earthly world, and proclaimed that his kingdom is at hand. We have his grace now, and we can live beyond the limits that the mere dust we were made from would suggest; we are children of God, and we are heirs with Christ of the kingdom of heaven.

Let us pray. Lord of heaven and earth, you sent your Son to be one of us. Comfort us with the knowledge of your presence with us, that we may live fully today and have no fear of tomorrow. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.