But if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.
1 Corinthians 15: 12-14
Little powder blue caskets are not something my humanity can stomach.
Last week, I sang at the funeral of a 14-year-old girl. She died of cancer after a 2 year battle with it, and the Church was full at her celebration of life...full of people in beautiful spring colors weeping for loss of this sweet young soul. She was laid to rest in a casket that was the most beautiful color of blue I have ever seen. And as they rolled her out of the crowded church at the end of Mass, I sang it for all the people to join in...
...Indescribable, uncontainable, you placed the stars in the sky and you know them by name... you are amazing God...
My humanity does not want to sing it.
My humanity just wants to shout and shake my fists. Really, God? How is it that you are so amazing? I prayed that you would heal this little girl over and over again. I prayed in the most magnificent of cathedrals, at the Sacre Coeur in Paris and at the Vatican in Rome. Do you not answer prayers for healing of children, even from St. Peter's Basilica?! You did not heal her and now she will be buried tomorrow. Joyful, radiant little girls should not die. We should not have to sing praise songs at the funerals of children.
And He stops me in my humanity and in all my unbelief and speaks gently into my soul, in the way He always does...
My daughter, do you not believe in the Resurrection?
Do you not believe that I came to die so that every person who dies might have eternal life?
Do you not believe what you profess...I believe in the Resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come...and that Christina gets to be with Me and with Me is the most wonderful place she will ever be?
And it is then that I know, again I am reminded...I do believe. In all the suffering of this world and confusion at death I must continually step out of my humanity and believe. I am a believer in the Kingdom of Heaven. And as a believer in the Kingdom, I do not live in what I can understand as a person, I live in my deep and abiding faith in the life, death, and Resurrection of Christ. And in my faith I know that this small girl may be lifeless to us all but that her death is not the end because Christ came that we might have life.
This coming celebration of Easter Sunday is not a day to simply wear fancy pastel clothes, go to Mass, celebrate the end of Lent, and eat good food. It is a day to rejoice in our belief because this Sunday gives meaning to our life and our death.
This Sunday, we will celebrate. This life is not the end. Thanks be to God.
I am the Way
Follow Me and take My hand
And I am the Truth
Embrace Me and you'll understand
And I am the Life
And through Me you'll live again
-Deathbed, Relient K