Dying Beauty

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“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of a perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for 

‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.  The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’

And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” 1 Peter 1:22-25

Like many of you, fall is my favorite season.  The weather is better, football games are being played, and for pumpkin lovers out there it’s pumpkin spice heaven; coffees, cookies, breads, almost anything you can imagine purchasing has a pumpkin spice limited edition.  One thing I really cherish about the fall is the changing of the leaves.  I have lived in two places in my life, Colorado and New England, and in both places, God really displays His glory and beauty in the fall colors.

Almost every fall I am reminded that at times, something becomes the most beautiful, the most glorious, as it is dying.  Leaves turn from green to rich colors of yellows, oranges, reds, and even purples, and it happens right before they fall to the ground and fade away.

There are times when we witness this dying beauty in the lives of those we love as they are getting closer to their final days with us.  I have heard from different people and families that facing death allows you to put things into perspective and to what really matters.  The passage today that we are looking at in 1 Peter tells us that we all are withering away, that our flesh is like grass, and yet in facing death we have a great perspective.

The perspective is this for a person who has trusted Jesus Christ with their life:

Although I am dying, I have been reborn of an imperishable, unfading seed, which is the Gospel, and because I’ve been made new by God’s Word I can love Jesus and others really well.

For some, facing death becomes a fear of the unknown.  For believers, we have hope that “word of the Lord remains forever.”  The “word” that remains is that although I was in rebellion against God he sent his son Jesus Christ to live the life I never could so that he might serve as a substitute for my sin.  In taking my sins upon him on the cross I was made clean, and because he rose from the dead three days later I join him in that resurrection as a member of God’s family!  This is the word preached to us by Peter and the good word that remains forever.

The truth is every single one of us is getting one day closer to death.  And yet we have hope that this life is a blip on the radar compared to spending eternity with Jesus.  Instead of being a dry crunchy leaf, I pray that all of us can grow in displaying the rich, glorious beauty of Jesus in our lives and really love others well.

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