Death has been a constant thought this past year, due to the pandemic that continues to rage among us and around the globe. It’s rare in our society to think much about the end of our days. We tend to press on with our plans until death disrupts us, when it jolts us to the reality that all of us are living on borrowed time and breath. From dust we came, to dust we will return. The earth grounds us, binds us together in this shared fate, creatures, and creation. While we attempt to stay nature’s course on our fleshly forms, creation pays no mind. Its rhythms of death and decay can be seen all around, as foliage and creature both are welcomed to final rest to become one with the dust. As Ash Wednesday approaches, we dust our foreheads remembrance of our fleeting nature. We are given sacred space to reflect on the limits of this life and these feeble frames. The sorrow of death will be present, of course, but our limits beckon us to remember our place in God’s creation. When we repent of our attempts to outrun death, we are able to embrace the space God has appointed us in this life. Here we are called to till the soil of our lives, and plant goodness, and tend the seed to harvest. God calls His creatures to cultivate His creation and make something beautiful out of the days we’re given.
Nature’s patterns of life and death and days and seasons draw us all back to reality: We are subject to forces beyond our control. No matter how we each might frame the source of these forces, none of us can deny that life and death are out of our hands. We have this in common. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson dig into a new series called Finding Common Ground. Each episode will consider a different aspect of natural revelation and how the world around us gives us the common ground we seek—and desperately need—with our fellow humans. Despite the rifts we feel with others ideologically, there is still much we have in common. By turning our eyes to the creation and its rhythms, we find commonality in our shared human experience. We can look to the patterns God embedded in the natural world as markers for our own experiences. Seasonal patterns, life stages, natural laws—things like these remind us that something greater is happening in the universe, regardless of our personal differences. Humans are all subject to these patterns and laws. We share these limitations that are also our means for joining God in the work of creating the common good. How do we find common ground in the fate humanity shares together? What signs and wisdom can we glean from nature’s patterns of life and death, renewal and decay? Is it possible our shared limits provide the common ground we need to in this divisive age? Listen in for dialogue on questions like these as we find common ground together. Then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.
This episode of Persuasion is sponsored in part by LifeWay’s Christian Standard Bible, a translation that presents the truth of God’s Word with accuracy and clarity. The CSB equips today’s readers for lifelong discipleship with hundreds of designs to choose from at CSBible.com.
PERSUASION 210 RESOURCES & LINKS
Turning of Days by Hannah Anderson, with illustrations by Nathan Anderson
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Persuasion 209 | Finding Common Ground
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