If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through His Spirit which dwells in you. –Romans 8:1-11
If you have been around the earthly remains of those who have died, you, like me, have probably found yourself wondering how it could be that God could again give life to this mortal body. The human body after death is rigid and lifeless, a mere shell of what was once a living, breathing child of God.
And yet, Paul affirms for us that if the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, you will surely be raised as well. Our mortal bodies, or whatever remains of them, will be refashioned and re-created, filled once again with life, to live with Him forever! As God did it with Jesus, He will also do it with you and me—no matter how hard it might be for us to imagine such a thing.
But God is not just about resurrecting mortal bodies after death. God is also about raising up and giving new life to those of us who are the living dead—walking through life like zombies (you should’ve heard my zombie sermon!). Sadly, all too many of us trudge through life without any real joy, meaning or purpose. We are indeed the walking dead. My guess is more of us feel that way at times than we’d like to admit.
But the same Spirit which raised Jesus, and the same Spirit which will raise our mortal bodies, is the same Spirit which gives new life and new hope to us in the midst of existence now. God desires that we live life fully in the here and now, not biding our time for our eternal reward.
Lenten renewal is all about resurrection and restoration in the present. Lent is not just about putting to death that which needs to end in our lives, but also finding new ways of living—ways that give energy and peace and fulfillment, yes, here and now!
Almighty God, send your life-giving Spirit to us in the midst of life, that we may find joy and happiness; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Taken from Wendel, David, From Ashes to Easter, Ashes Lenten Devotional Booklet, North American Lutheran Church.