Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. – John 20:8-9 (NRSV)
A 4-year-old child made a complaint to his father who was reading him Charlotte’s Web. “If you had told me she was going to die at the end, I wouldn’t have listened all this time. Why didn’t you tell me?”
A 4-year-old can ask that question. An adult shouldn’t. We all know we are going to die. Pass. Transition. Go to the other side. Finish. End. Cross over. Be complete. Some of us also know that we don’t know what happens next—but we do know the promise of eternal life and therefore we sniff it, even at the biological genomic end of our bodies.
Jesus lived well while knowing he was going to die. How? By being so secure in his relationship with his parent and creator. He didn’t think he was the whole deal. He knew about death and his divine humanity and didn’t bother to be afraid.
Recently we had the resignation of a key lay leader at our congregation. She was burned out, fed up, and the first “younger” leader to be allowed to have big responsibilities in our elder-driven system. She had managed these responsibilities beautifully. She got involved in a power struggle that disgusted her. She was mature enough to say no scapegoating, no blaming, no singling out. She was Jesus like. She was secure. She wasn’t worried about death but instead about life and living well. She kept her promises, like Jesus, even when others didn’t keep theirs.
Genuine adults don’t know how the story is going to end. They do know that it is going to end. Moreover, they know that God is still promising.
You have made promises with us, O God, that we may live forever, starting tomorrow and continuing through the weekend. Let us read to the end of your story.