All Things End

There's an impermanence to things in this world that can be jarring sometimes.  

When confronted with the fact that nothing seems to last forever, we often despair and find hope hard to muster, despite what faith we may hold on to for comfort. 

But we should know that even though there is impermanence and nothing lasts forever, new things can be born when the old passes.  

There is an endless rhythm of dying and rising embedded in the universe. It's part of what Christians know as resurrection. The thing about resurrection is that dying has to happen before new life can happen.  

The dying part is what most of us want to avoid at all costs.  

To quote a line from a David Crowder song, "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die."  

It's tempting to want things to stay as they are if the way things are is great.  Come to think of it, it's also tempting to want things to remain as they are, even if they aren't great when we are more afraid of the unknown than we'd like to admit. 

The other day, I listened to an album by the Irish artist Hozier, and one of the songs caught my attention.  The song is called "All Things End," and the chorus goes like this: 
And all things end
All that we intend is scrawled in sand
Or slips right through our hands
And just knowing
That everything will end
Should not change our plans
When we begin again. 
There's something so beautiful and comforting about that line.  It addresses the truth about the impermanence of things but doesn't lose hope.  Knowing everything ends should never deter us from starting again, waking up, rising and rumbling, or simply living in joy.  

[Seriously, if you haven't listened to Hozier before, you should.  His work is inspired by religious and literary themes, ranging from folk and soul to blues, all in one album.]

Jesus often spoke to his followers about this very idea.  He urged them to avoid becoming so attached to the material world that they missed out on the deep spirituality that impermanence, dying-and-rising, and resurrection had to teach them. 

He told them they should not spend so much time fretting about what tomorrow brings when today has more than enough to occupy them.  

These lessons echo Hozier's song and speak those same timeless truths in a way that might be more poetic but equally inspiring and encouraging.  

There is no reason for despair when we are faced with impermanence.  We love in the moment, for the moment.  We open our hearts to what may be slipping away from us bit by bit.  

And then we grieve for a time when what was is no more. 

But we also should know that on the other side of our grief will be something new, restorative, life-giving, and hope-filled.  This is all part of the eternal rhythm of resurrection, and we are a part of it, too. 

So, if you are finding yourself feeling low because you are experiencing loss, and you are fearful of what comes next... 

Or if you are coming to grips with impermanence, it is causing you to despair a bit because you can't see how or why you should welcome it and look for something new to be born... 

I have this to say to you:  Rejoice because you have an incredible opportunity to step forward into what comes next with great hope.  We live in an impermanent world, but it also smacks of eternity to those willing to see it, hear it, and embrace it more fully.  

You don't need to guard your heart against impermanence.  The God who makes all things new will not let you down.  

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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