A fear that many people have is the fear of growing old. When we are young, we cannot imagine getting old. We think that somehow we will be exempt from the effects of aging. When the signs of aging appear, many people try to hide them. Then there is the dreaded question, “How old are you?”
The celebration of Easter invites us to look at life in a completely different way. The Easter proclamation is that life is not about growing old, life is about growing new. Easter says that even though our bodies may grow old, our lives, spirits and world can always grow new. The declaration of Easter is that the resurrection of Jesus broke through the finality of physical death and destroyed the power of sin which deadens our spirits. The promise of Easter is new and everlasting life.
Growing old makes it difficult for us to live the message of Easter. Our physical bodies get ill and we have less energy. The challenging and painful experiences of life chip away at us. The longer we live in the world, the more we see its limits, its ugly side and its injustices. In the midst of many influences that may tell us otherwise, Easter proclaims that we really can grow new.
This Easter is an opportunity for each of us to ask ourselves where it is that we need to grow new. Maybe we need to grow new with ourselves, in our attitudes, in our resolve to take care of our health, new in our relationship with God. Perhaps we need to grow new in our relationships, our marriages, our families, our friendships. Possibly we need to grow new in our connection with the bigger world, our view of others, our efforts to be more involved in our parish.
The hope of Easter is that we can grow new even though illness, grief, tragedy, hurt and disappointments make us grow old. Certainly the disciples of Jesus grew old through the agony of watching their beloved Jesus die so violently. Then they discovered his empty tomb and dared to believe that it was not over after all. Not only was it not over, it was all new. On Easter 2015 we again profess the faith of those first disciples whose lives were made new by the resurrection of Jesus. As Christ Cathedral Parish, may we continue to grow new together.