Living and Growing: Thoughts of jellyfish during time of holy mystery of death and resurrection


For neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, shall separate us from this world. Because I’m convinced that it can’t be done. The love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

We had the opportunity to take a German exchange student to Florida in February and he was able to see a little more of the United States than Alaska. He was happy with the warmth and sunshine.

My favorite thing to do is walk on the beach looking at seashells and people. There were a lot of jellyfish this year. They are all over the coast and let me tell you it’s awful to step on them. These jellyfish are clearly not immortal, but it got me thinking about immortality.

In other words, there is a jellyfish called the immortal jellyfish. It is about the size of a pinky nail, and one scientific paper describes its “death” process as follows: Instead of dying, it reverses its life cycle and shrinks to form a “cyst” ball that attaches to the ocean floor and grows into a new polyp. This polyp creates a small jelly as it cycles. ”

This process can continue indefinitely or until eaten or washed ashore. Yes, these are the thoughts that go through my mind as I walk on the beach. Then I started thinking about Jesus.

We are entering an era of the sacred mystery of death and resurrection. A seminary professor told me that our theology begins with the resurrection. It is in the empty tomb that we witness the eternal. Eternity is not death, but love as evidenced in the person of Jesus. The women came to the tomb expecting to anoint the body, but received the news: “He is alive. He is alive.” He’s not here. ”

We don’t know what the resurrection was like other than that when people saw love they recognized the risen Jesus. The ripples are so large that it is often tempting to imagine that the violence, retaliation, and hatred will be eternal. The good news of the cross is that all hurt reactions are swallowed up in the love poured out that Friday. God rejects the revenge game and reveals power and violence as useless tools.

After considering the options of what could support the weight of eternity, I ended up with either jellyfish or love. I’m voting for love, but even if it’s a jellyfish, I can confidently say that it’s not anger, revenge, or hostility that seems to predominate in our world.

The sacred mystery of death and resurrection is my favorite time of the year, but it is also the foundation of my being and my hope.

• Tali Stage Harvey is pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by a variety of authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. Posted every Saturday on Juno Empire’s faith page.






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