United With Christ
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united in a resurrection like his.” – Romans 6:3-5 (NRSV)
A couple of years ago I was blessed to be able to go hang gliding.
I had always wanted to hang glide but I could never commit the time to learn and get certified. But then, an opportunity came to fly – even though I personally could not do it. I could unite with a certified instructor and fly!
We were tied in a double harness that hung from the kite. I fly – but the pilot had the knowledge and the experience. The pilot did the work but I enjoyed the flight – I was hang gliding! We soared into the sky and I experienced the joys of hang gliding.
I was so thankful for the opportunity which was only made possible through this united flight apparatus on the hang glider. Some would say that this wasn’t “real” hang gliding since I was not alone – but I would argue differently. I experienced flight even though I was not in control. Giving up control was a gift to me.
In order to soar into the heavens of eternal life I must give up any control of trying to get there on my own and be united with Christ and his death and resurrection.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that as Christ died and was buried and then rose again, we too, being united with Jesus through our Baptisms have gone with Jesus into death and we will go beyond to eternal life with him as well! This is not of our own doing and we can’t do it alone – without Christ. But, we need not try it on our own, for we have the Jesus who pilots us through death and into eternal life.
Bringing It Home:
1. Just as I had to entrust my life to the experienced hang glider pilot, we all need to entrust our lives to Jesus who takes us into the glory of eternal life. Are you ready to take the flight of your (eternal) life? Are you united with Christ? All you need to do is trust in Jesus as your Savior.
2. Are you truly united with Christ? The following disciplines are the straps that hold you close to Jesus: Regular Worship, prayer, daily Scripture reading, prayer partnerships and small groups. What areas of your faith life need a little more attention, so that you are ready to soar with Jesus into the heavens?
Thank you, Jesus, for inviting me through the cross and into eternal life. Help me to give up control to you so that you can take me where I need to go and in the manner which will allow you to gift me with eternal life. Amen.
John A. Holm
Transforming Church Institute