April 21, 2010 | 09:19 am

Wednesday: Resurrection as Affirmation of Life

Tuesday we took a detour around the main thrust of the story of Tabitha in Acts 9. Though she was a person devoted to doing good works and acts of charity, her biblical fame comes from being raised from the dead. I know this is going to sound strange, but I wonder why this is good news. If after death there is no more pain. If after death we find eternal peace. If after death we enter paradise with God. Why does the Bible celebrate Tabitha’s return to an earthly existence? Whatever answer we give, it must include the affirmation that life is worth living. Otherwise it would be a cruel act of God to delay heaven to spend a few more years in this world.

Our spiritual journeys are about centering on those things that make life worth living. If we look at Jesus’ instructions for prayer, it emphasizes the potential of life today. He said we are to pray “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Life is not part of a heavenly installment plan to collect after death. There is a heavenly dimension to our earthly existence, and following the way of Christ leads us into this dimension.