How is light appreciated but by being in the dark first? And how is joy had but by experiencing sorrow and pain? How is the resurrection of Easter enjoyed but by first going through a season of tangibly experiencing the need for Christ and the stripping away of carnal desire? Surely all those things can be had without its latter, however there is a fullness that the counterpart brings that makes things all the more beautiful and sweet. The month of April has been gracious to me in showing me a fuller understanding of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I wrote a paper for my New Testament class on Colossians 2:11-15 where I explored the idea of baptism being the new form circumcision the four weeks leading up to Holy Week. I spent a lot of time researching and showing how the ‘circumcision of Christ’ is to be understood in the sense that Jesus’ physical death on the cross is the body of flesh that is cut off as our spiritual circumcision. The understanding reveals the importance of baptism in the process of our salvation in that we have been circumcised through the waters of baptism. We have been buried with him in his death and just as God raised Jesus from the dead, so have we been by the same power of God.
The nature of the paper and the practice of Lenten disciplines (I have to admit the failure of my specific discipline) revealed to me the weakness of my flesh and the necessity of my union with Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. The primary thrust of the passage of Colossians and the main idea of Easter is God’s active role in unifying us with him through his Son, our Savior! This unification with the Godhead is more than simply the forgiveness of sin but a comprehensive process of making our nature more like the nature of the Trinity in order that all that is wrong in the world can be made right and all that is beautiful can be appreciated for what it is.
I have the sense of a new birth in light of the Easter season. I hope that I feel the same thing year after year as the nature of the gospel message becomes more full as each year brings new experiences and perspective on life. I think that this sense is captured in the Church’s teaching of “conversion of life.” We are to each day turn from our disastrous tendencies and live in light of the law of freedom.
I’m reminded of our need for a daily conversion of life in the midst of the final push toward the end of the semester as many of us here are short tempered and generally weary from the term. I know surely I don’t have it as tough as other might, but there is a lot of work to be done from now until May 26th. I ask for your prayers and continually support for all of us here at Nashotah House. For we hope that this environment of study will be worth it in the end when we go forth into the world by shining light in dark places, spreading joy in times of sorrow, and living in light of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, our Lord and our God.