Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.” – John 11:25

This morning I am finally beginning to believe that fall has arrived to stay. I’m enjoying coffee on the deck, wearing a light jacket because it’s still only 59 degrees, watching leaves begin to change and fall and taking in deep breaths of deliciously fresh air.

Change! You can feel it all around. Spring; summer; fall; winter; spring again. Change is one of the most compelling signs of life. The end of one season is always wrapped up in the beginnings of the next, because ‘the stuff of life’ by definition has to grow and bloom and replicate and cycle through and come to its end in order for something new to be born. Regeneration (the formation of something new) is not the same as reanimation (simply bringing back to life).

This time of the year reminds me that God’s way is always New Life— both creation and regeneration. The breath of the Spirit does so much more than promote stasis or maintenance, or even bringing something back from the dead. Because God is in the business of taking the raw material of who we are and regenerating life that is both rooted in what brought us to this point and moving into something previously unimagined.

Reanimation (what Jesus did with the “formerly dead” Lazarus in John 11) is—essentially—about temporarily winding the clock backward. But resurrection is all about moving forward into what is possible in response to Jesus. “I am the resurrection and the life!” “In Christ there is a new creation!”

For regeneration there needs, first, to be an ending. Fall does not just look to winter, but fall is also the raw material of spring.

So this is what I wonder, while I am drawing deep breaths and filling my lungs with cool air. “What is going to be regenerated somewhere down the road?” And, “I wonder what— first—is going to have to come to an end?”

In love, and because of love, – DEREK