I park a few blocks away from my office. In part because there are rarely any spaces next to my building but mostly because I enjoy the walk. 19th century homes give way to our beautiful campus at Concordia University St. Paul.
This time of year, the pathway I take is blanketed with death. Thousands upon thousands of leaf-corpses lie dead as I step on them, sometimes causing me to slip. But this death is not ugly or morbid as most think. This death does not produce a negative visceral reaction that others do. This death is radiant. This death is fragrant. The transition through which the tree-leafs journey leaves a visual and surreal masterpiece of brilliant colors. And in this, they also give and experience new life. I love this beautiful death.
Our lives are leafs. Birth – Growth – Life – Transition – Death – Life. We have a few years here and then fall into the beautiful slumber of death. Then we are awakened, once again, to the brilliance of life. Christ has done it for us. Christ has paved our pathway in His beautiful death-life. And as the Bible says,
“Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” 1 Cor. 15:54-55.
Next week, we will have snow and my pathway to work will be blanketed by a different death. No matter. I will crunch through remembering that death has no sting for me. I will celebrate the joy in death that gives life. I will thank the Lord that I will be counted among those who are loved, saved and redeemed by Jesus. What a beautiful death.