God created humanity in God’s own image. When we read Paul, it may be easy to conclude that this is only a spiritual image. In many respects, it is indeed a spiritual image. On the other hand, as God made us even our physical being is an expression of God.
Through sin, however, death and decay were brought into the world. One could argue that Adam and Eve’s sin began the decay and from the decay came death. Decay and death…consequences of sin.
Yet, before we give decay and death all the “glory”, let us recall the real issue…sin. Decay and death are symbolic of what occurs with us spiritually in regard to our relationship to God.
The ways of the world are to draw everything to its decay and death. This includes, and often even focuses upon, our relationship with God. If the innocence of a newborn child was the starting point, then the decay would begin immediately. Just as with all things rates of decay depend on environment, nutrition, love, guidance.
However, if we were to strictly rely on the world to reduce the rate of decay, then there still would be no hope for anything except death. That isn’t much to hope for.
The hope we have is that death’s power has ultimately been broken. Thanks to the cross, we have something beyond to look forward to. While death causes us pain in the here and now, ultimately we understand that death is merely a stage for us. The pain we feel can be attributed to the “God-shaped” place in our beings that understands that death is not the way things ought to be. It is our reality that we will miss those we love. Our hope is the hope we in the midst of and in the face of what would otherwise be the hopelessness of death.
O God, who by the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, who have been raised with him, may abide in his presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen. [Tuesday of Easter week collect, Book of Common Prayer 2019]