Death for Life

The following is an abbreviated re-blog of a post which can be found in its entirety (with illustrations) at


Lent is transitioning into Holy Week and Easter — with Earth Day very soon thereafter — a good time to reflect on death and new life within the context of the new creation story. The chaos and seeming hopelessness of Good Friday, and the bitter cold and icy winter many have experienced, will both result in new life. It’s a cosmic pattern.Cosmic Beginnings

When we think of Jesus’ death bringing him and us all new life, we can remember that the beginning of this death-to-life paradox can be traced back far beyond Scripture. When we start in the very beginning  — “a very good place to start,” as Julie Andrews reminded us —  we arrive at the Flaring Forth (recently confirmed by John Kovac and his colleagues at the South Pole) and the subsequent formation and deaths of stars. It would have seemed unlikely that anything of substance would result from dying stars, but we know that by dying, each generation of them created more complex elements for new worlds and complex life.

Evolution continued for 13.8 billion years, always by way of some beings giving up their independent existence to create something new. Over billions of years, elements became molecules that bonded in ever more complex patterns. Major extinctions on Earth gave space
for new life forms. Created in God’s image, all of nature incarnates God’s generous. lavish, immense pouring out. Dying to live, living to die is an old, old pattern.

Our Turn

We try to make the conscious deaths with love and joy, no longer, as in the past, for our small selves, for our small family, our small country; but for the salvation and the success of the universe. (Teilhard de Chardin) Aware of our interconnection with all being, we “die” to what we judge holds us (personally and globally) from abundant life – usually selfishness in some form. We can be confident that the Spirit of Life can bring new life both within and without us and all creation. We can be sure that our efforts for justice will bear fruit.

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