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Death is Not the End – Br. John Braught

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Br. John BraughtMatthew 9:10-17

Jesus never tries to convince us of the existence of God. What Jesus is concerned with, what Jesus consistently tries to convince us of is not the existence of God. What Jesus consistently tries to convince us of is the need for God. For you who are well, Jesus says, for you are healthy, holy, righteous, self-satisfied, for you who are getting on with the business of living, for you, Jesus says, I have very little to offer. But for you who are sick, diseased, crippled, anxious, lonely, fearful, troubled, heavy-laden, blind, deaf, mute, (am I forgetting anyone?) for you, Jesus says, I have your medicine. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”But unlike visiting a physician, Jesus is not talking about putting a Band-Aid on your booboo. Jesus is not talking about sewing patches on torn garments, or pouring new wine into worn-out wineskins. Jesus is not talking about twisting yourself into a pretzel through prayer and fasting so that God will come out of hiding and bind up your wounds. Jesus is talking about new garments, new wine in new wineskins. Jesus is talking a about brand new life. In another place, Jesus says, we are born again.

But if we are going to be born again, we all know what has to happen. If we are going to be born again, first of all, we have to die. And none of us want to die. If I die, I won’t be me. If I die, I won’t exist. I may not like myself, or even certain aspects of myself, but I’d rather live this way, than not be me at all!

Jesus knows it won’t be easy. But Jesus assures us that though we are dust and it is to dust we shall return, death is not the end. When we die, literally or spiritually, it’s not that we lose ourselves, or, become someone we are not, or, even cease to exist. To the contrary, when we die, we awaken to find that we have in fact become more ourselves than ever before. I will be more me, and you, you will be more you than you ever thought possible. A brand new life; abundant life.  And all because we recognized our need for God in this one. Amen.

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5 Comments

  1. gwedhen nicholas on March 19, 2014 at 14:50

    Thank you Br John. You have an amazing way of talking. You make everything so clear. I long to die spiritually, that I would be more truly myself.

  2. Tammy on March 13, 2014 at 21:21

    Powerful last three lines….we cling to ourselves as if salvation depended upon it! ..sometimes I long to know how God sees me….what is the hope to which I am called made in God’s image and likeness that is obscured by my narrow vision….my father died recently and I imagined healing for him being able to be who God intended him to be…..something he could never accept or embrace on this side of glory….what will it be like to know him fully realized….more fully himself… what God always saw that we nor he could ever see in this life….thanks for reminding me of life after ashes

  3. Sandra Ahn on March 11, 2014 at 08:27

    Thank you Br Luke. This is another reminder that we must let go of what we want so that we can become what God wants. Like the rich man who must give away all that he owns, like the disciples who were told to put down their nets, we must die so that we can live. The promise of Easter awaits us. With peace, Sandra

  4. Ruth West on March 10, 2014 at 22:12

    Thank you, dear Brother, for this encouraging message of the resurrection. He lives! So do we.
    And so shall we!

  5. Roben on March 10, 2014 at 10:56

    Thank you Br. John. Your message spoke to my heart, a reminder, a reaffirmation, bringing me renewed strength and encouragement.

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