Isn’t that an amazing idea? This Sunday, we’ll hear Paul as he continues last week’s passage, in which he says that baptism is the movement from death to life.
This is an inversion of our normal way of thinking. I am always very tempted by the carpe diem school of living. Life is short—eat that second piece of cake! You only get one shot at the ring—ditch the job and go backpacking in Malaysia! And there’s another school of life that requires discipline, which I also admire. Life is short—don’t eat that second piece of cake or life will get much shorter! You only get one shot at the ring—get ahead at your work so you can look back at a successful career and have enough money to pay for a comfortable nursing home!
Both these ways of life have their points. But Paul is rejecting all of that. Live like you’ve already died—because you have.
Paul is really saying that there is more to life than our adventures and our responsibility. All reality is God-soaked—Christ permeates everything. Jesus tells us this week to welcome—even to seek out the weakest and most despised to give them a cup of water. In living, we receive the presence of God, and we transmit God’s presence to others. Like newborns opening their eyes to color and their ears to sound, our lives after baptism are opened to a new and unimaginable life.
So live like you’ve already died.