Renewed for Life is the final focus in our six-week Season for Renewal. We have heard, sung, and prayed about being renewed in faith, renewed in gratitude, renewed through prayer, renewed by grace, renewed in love, and now – renewed for life. What does this mean?
For me, as a 73-year-old grandmother, the promise of always being made new again (in and through my baptism into Christ Jesus) is indeed Good News! My aging body needs renewal through rest and sleep much more often than it used to. My tired eyes require me to put down the books more often and for longer periods of time. Of course, the renewal of faith, gratitude, prayer, grace, and love are not as much about the age and strength of my physical being as about the condition of my spiritual life. Renewed for life reminds me of the promises of Affirmation of Baptism.
Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism:
to live among God’s faithful people;
to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper;
to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed;
to serve all people following the example of Jesus; and
to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?”
What does it mean to be renewed for life as a person who wants to live out those baptismal promises but is not always successful in doing so? For me, it means life-long learning. It means opening my heart and mind to new ways of seeing, hearing, thinking. It means following the faith practices of worship, prayer, study, generosity, encouraging, inviting, and serving. It means helping others and accepting help. It means connecting with others in community. It means being forgiven and forgiving. It means receiving and showing grace, peace, and love. It means trusting in God.
From our gospel reading for this weekend, we hear Jesus telling the Sadducees, “And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.” Luke 20:37-38. I hear these words as a follow-up reflection from All Saints’ Weekend. God sees all of us, those who walk on earth today, those who have been here previously, and, I dare say, those who will be here in the future as beloved children of God. As often happens in our gospel readings, Jesus challenges the hearers of his day and the hearers/readers of today to broaden and deepen our understanding of God’s abundant life offered for all. Every beloved child of God is renewed for life through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit.
Renewed for life is about being Christ’s light on the hill; loving, serving, growing; sharing God’s love shown in Christ Jesus with each other and the rest of the world.
God's Peace be with you,