death: (noun) the end of life; the time when something dies; the permanent end of something that is not alive; origin: middle english; before 12th century

I need resurrection. I crave it.

And because of that desperation for resurrection, I welcome death. Because without death, there is no resurrection.

I’m not talking about my own death or the death of a loved one. I don’t want to think about not seeing those that I love ever again. That’s not the death I’m talking about. I’m talking about the death that leads to resurrection.

As Christians (and I’m primarily speaking for the protestants in the room), we are Easter people. We don’t have a Jesus on the cross any longer. Ours is empty because Jesus died, was buried, descended into hell, and on day 3 he rose like the badass he was. Jesus can no longer be found on our crosses.

Death is something we need in our churches.

Too many times, we hold on to our programming or our patterns of worship or the coffee hour traditions because it is often assumed that it’s just part of who we are. When visitors come to our churches, they experience our coffee hour or our patterns of worship. But what if we sought ways to experience the visitor in our midst? What if we sought out ways to invite people into worship who are new, and instead of asking them to conform to our ways of worship, by asking them what ways they want or need to experience the holy? What if we just let little things die off?

What if we let go of whatever it is that is lingering, or that we keep saving from the chopping block in our churches? What if we let go of our hang ups and our “we’ve always done it like that because it works” attitudes? What would our churches look like? What if we allowed for a little death so that things could become resurrected? How could we resurrect worship? How could we resurrect children’s ministry? How could we resurrect pastoral care? How could we resurrect our coffee hours?

They say there are 2 things in live that are unavoidable: death and taxes. Well, our churches do a damn good job of holding off death. If only we put as much energy into resurrection.

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