Transformed into a new identity

Marie Smith - Contributing columnist

Have you ever had a week where you just felt … hopeless? Like, you wonder how will I ever get it all done? How will these things ever line up?

I don’t mean hopeless in the sense of no hope in living, but like “a sense of not sure how things might end up”.

Like that overwhelmed feeling you might get after someone dies, or after you get a bad grade in a class. That feeling of “Oh No, what now” when you make a decision that does not end the way you thought, and you are left standing wondering what now.

As the followers of Jesus stand in the garden, at the foot of the cross, in the upper room, and in the emptiness of Saturday before Resurrection Sunday, they felt the same thing.

They felt sadness, grief, confusion and emptiness. They perhaps wondered what was next.

Do they go back to tax collecting and fishing? How do they go back to life as it was?

I get that. When you have been through something, when you have experienced something significant, seen miracles, walked next to the Son of God everything about your life changes. For the followers of Jesus, they were left in a suspended moment in time.

As we wait for Sunday, we too are in suspended moment of time. This suspended moment is full of heartache and pain. It is the heartache of death and guilt of denial. It is filled with misery and wishful last words and actions. Our hearts long for embraces and our memories are filled with both pain and joy.

And for some of us, we like that suspended moment. We like to wallow in that pain and guilt. The “woe is me” moments become hours and days. We wear our pain and misery like a badge.

But Christ came that we might have new life in him. That we might be free from the pain and the guilt. That we might live into the gift of the empty tomb, the new life of Christ.

Paul in Colossians 3: 10 describes “have clothes yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.” It’s like we get new clothes, we get to throw the old ones away!

I love that image. I do not mean to say the pain and heartache that got us to the cross may still create pain, but because of the new life in Christ, we are transformed. We have a new identity in Christ.

Peter and the others began to understand this when they saw the empty tomb. I hope on Sunday you too will experience new life.

Join us, on Sunday at any of our Wilmington area churches. This Friday we have our Ecumenical Good Friday Service at Ada Chapel Friends Meeting House at noon. Hope to See YOU!

You will be welcomed and loved! I love the metaphor — it’s all ice cream (Chrisitanity), just different flavors! (different churches)

See you Sunday! You Matter to Us and you Matter to God!

Marie Smith is Pastor of Wilmington United Methodist Church.

Marie Smith

Contributing columnist