This week the pastor of the MCC in Omaha, Nebraska, shared this picture on his Facebook page with the message, "Perhaps this image can be a metaphor for Christianity in the West."
For more than 20 years people have been discussing the decline and possible death of Christianity in the Western World (basically meaning Europe and North America). As I chatted with my colleague from Omaha, one of the things we discussed is the irony that for decades Christians have worried about the death of our faith...even though we practice a faith that is based in a story of death and resurrection.
Perhaps we could all stand to have more regular reminders in our lives that we practice a resurrection faith. No death is final...be that the death of the physical body of a loved one, the death of a pet, or the death of a beloved restaurant, store, or organization. All death creates an opening for new life, for resurrection.
With all the anxiety in our world today, we are all tempted to put our "death glasses" on. Those glasses cause us to look around and see all the things that are dying. This week, I encourage you to ponder the image of this tree. See the new life springing forth from death. Then, I challenge you to put on your "resurrection glasses" instead. Try to look at the events happening in your life, our church, and our world with resurrection glasses that see the new life and the hope of the resurrection work God is always performing all around us!