Romans 6: 3-11
Through that gift, through that sacrifice, says the scriptures, the light of God shines into a world darkened and corrupted by sin. The light that shines though our lives is beautiful and unique, like the colors coming through our stained glass windows, and that light continues to shine in a way even after we have gone on. We are aware of that light that shines from the “cloud of witnesses” when we take time to remember those who have departed, as we do today. We remember the dead, and we live with the comfort and the hope that we will be remembered after we have “shuffled off this mortal coil” to quote another great poet. “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” (Tagore)
Carl and Tim recently fixed the porch light right on the outside of the prayer chapel door. It’s on a timer, and when I look over at the church in the early evening hours, I can see this single window fully illuminated. It’s the window that represents our baptism, and so it is a reminder of my baptism, and the fact that I, that we, are claimed by God. That we’re welcomed into God’s family. But right next to it, more faintly illuminated just because of the angle at which I’m looking at the sanctuary, is this window, the window that symbolizes the resurrection. The event, the victory that makes the new life possible. As Paul writes to the Romans in today’s scripture (brilliantly re-conceived by Eugene Peterson)
6-11Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did.