Our family loves meteor showers.
Well, really, it’s my dad. My dad loves meteor showers.
The rest of us love sleep.
I have vibrant memories of my dad waking us up at 1am, 2am, or 4am, whenever the best time for viewing in our area was expected. He would wrap a blanket around each of us and we would climb into the car. We would drive about a quarter mile out into our neighbor’s field, get out of the car, and lay on the hood, all lined up, with our faces turned up to the night sky. Then, it would happen: a speck of light, then another, another, until it felt like all the light was falling out of the sky and filling the space around you. I wanted to catch the falling diamonds with my mouth or in my hands the way children catch snowflakes.
After the shower, as a kid, I wondered how all the stars in the sky could be left hanging, when so many had just fallen out of the sky. How was it we still had light when it has all just fallen and passed away?
As an adult, I found this passage, Job 9:7-10, that gave me my answer:
…who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
8 who alone stretched out the heavens
and trampled the waves of the sea;
9 who made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
10 who does great things beyond searching out,
and marvelous things beyond number.
Now I know the difference between meteors and stars, between gaseous matter and chunks of blazing stone, but the biblical lesson still holds no matter the substance in the sky we consider.
You can’t take the stars out of the sky, and the sun is still shining even when we cannot see it.
God alone places them in their positions, stretches them out in the galaxies, and plucks white dwarfs out of the sky in their time.
We have such little minds. We continue to believe more easily that which we can see even as we grow from children into elderly.
Likewise, the resurrection of the dead is the easiest thing for us to set aside in our system of beliefs. We relegate it to unimportant, not worth arguing over, and at the very least ignored. We sleep through this important doctrine, when our Father in heaven would teach us and wake us up for His unbelievable and glorious display:
The dead rise at His beckoning. The tombs unseal and Life bursts forth.
Without the resurrection of the dead, we remain in darkness. If death is not defeated in its fullness, what is the point? We could be souls wandering around a heavenly space, but God gives us greater hope. We were made for physical resurrection.
Paul says it better. We find his argument in 1 Corinthians 15:12-28:
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
God is all in all, and we see this vaguely in the stars hanging in the sky even when it’s cloudy and our own vision obscured. We see this more clearly in His Word, like this passage we just read that proclaims Jesus as the firstfruit of resurrection, which means there are the next fruits – each of us raised with Him. One day, we will see this fully: satan stomped underfoot, and our entire world restored. We will be bodily resurrected, with perfect bodies and a celebration like no other. It makes me sit and wonder if the angels praising Him will look like the thousand glimmering specks of meteors I watched with my dad, and there we will be watching them again together, praising together.
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8b)
Look at 1 Corinthians 15:19 again:
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
We have hope for so much more than this life, even so much more than heaven. We wait for the resurrection of the dead, which means I will praise and rejoice with my dad one day. This is no small hope.
I want to be a next fruit.
I want to stand on this earth again and sing with sparkling angels and all those who have gone before me.
We preach and teach the resurrection of the dead, something we cannot see, because we do not want to rob people of their hope. God gives light from the stars in the sky and warmth from the sun when we cannot see it, and hope for a life where those same stars will shine for Him again – brighter and more perfect.
The same is true of me and of you. You shine for Him now, even when you cannot see it, but oh, will you shine for Him again, praising Him
who does great things beyond searching out,
and marvelous things beyond number. (Job 9:10)
with feet firmly planted on resurrection soil.