The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Cor. 15:26-28)
Flying our flag
At the parish I serve, St. Thomas Church in Menasha, WI, our rector’s sermon on Easter Day urged us, in the face of other people’s grief and loss, not to tell them what they should believe about the resurrection, but instead simply to “fly your own flag” of witness.
This is wisdom for so many situations.
People struggling with substance abuse, dealing with issues of mental illness, in despair at the loss of a job, or grieving at the death of a loved one, may not be able to look to God directly and may resent being told what to believe.
But perhaps seeing our flag, hearing our simple witness, will “give them courage and hope in their troubles” (BCP 389).
Like Mary Magdalene, whose banner might simply read “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18), we bring hope into other people’s lives by bearing witness to the possibility of victory.
Br. David Vryhof, whose meditation is shared today at Brother, Give Us a Word, reflects on the healing power of looking to God:
Jesus embodies that death-defeating, life-giving power, and even an evil force bent on destruction and death cannot overcome his strength to save and heal. Do not give in to despair. Look to God and believe.
In the picture Resurrection by Pierro della Francesca, the central image my rector used in his sermon, we see Christ rising from the tomb and planting his flag of victory over death and the grave.
Perhaps our own flags of witness — “I have seen the Lord” — are what the people around us need to see in order for them to believe that victory can be theirs, too.