November 8 Reflections

“Dead man walking,” was the phrase used in the past when a person who was on death row was being ushered to his final few moments to whatever form of capital punishment was being used. This phrase, “Dead Man Walking,” is also a title to a movie that depicts a Roman Catholic nun reaching out to a convicted murderer on death row awaiting execution. The conversations are deep and transformational for both. However, he still does pay for his crime with his life. He did pay for his crime with his physical life, but inwardly positive things were happening. In one sense he had found life in the love and care of a nun, and he knew he was not alone as he faced physical execution.

This week in “Life Basics with Jesus” we are going to explore the phrase, “I am alive in Jesus.” Alive is not speaking about physical life (bios). It is talking about an internal fullness of life that is vibrant and vital (zoe). Jesus told us that is why he came…” I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) But we all know people who seemingly walk around physically alive but have the look of an internal life that is dead. Hollow eyes…sad affect on the face…movements that are slow…slouched over…empty inside…lack of energy…there is a deep apathy about anything or anyone. It is as if it is a dead man/woman walking. Maybe that person has been, or maybe is us. The statement by Jesus seems like a fairy tale dream for people with no problems.

On Sunday we are going to think together about what it means to be alive in Jesus. This is how I define it, “Jesus does not want us to just live with our hearts beating walking around as a shell of existence. He wants us to have a deep vitality and vibrancy experiencing the fullness of soul someone knows when Jesus does everyday life with us.” With is the key. Jesus doing life with us. He is not just by us; he is with us in a personal relationship. By is an observer…someone who is around but there is no real connection. With is a relationship…intimate, knowing the realities of pain, joy, suffering and happiness. This aliveness really is all about Jesus who loves us first and perfectly. His loving life in us, creates life. We are going to think about this on Sunday. Some passages to read: John 10:7-10;  John 5:37-40; John 14:1-6.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn