Watchword for the Month

“So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is
raised imperishable” – Text: 1 Corinthians 15:42

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Bishop S.N.N. Ngqakayi - April 2020

Greeting

Dear Reader or Listener for our podcast on this reflection on our text for the month of April! Thank you for taking the time and trouble to visit our website especially for this, your favourite meditation feature. Our text for the month of April is a Pauline one as reflected above, namely: “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable” 1 Cor 15:42.

Introduction

By way of placing our text of choice in its broader context, in summary, here Paul draws four contrasts between our natural body and the resurrection body as follows:

It is sown in corruption but raised in incorruption.
It is sown in dishonor but raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness but raised in power.
It is sown a natural body but raised a spiritual body.

In Chapter 15, verse 42, (So also is the resurrection of the dead), having argued the difference and newness of the resurrection body, Paul now contrasts the resurrection body with the natural body. Resurrection bodies will be as unique as all the contrasts seen in previous verses. Our resurrection body will be unique and different from other resurrection bodies.

Regarding the portion that says: the body is sown in corruption, it is raised iincorruption, the word “sown” refers to burial. We put the human body into the ground
(interment) just like a seed, but God raises it to incorruption (imperishable). Our present
bodies are subject to disease, aging, and death. Our resurrection bodies are not subject
to corruption or death. God will replace corruption with incorruption in the resurrection body. The Apostle Peter, seems to be reinforcing the Pauline message on resurrection when he asserts that; “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you”
1 Peter 1:3. It is clear from this short exposition that the message of resurrection is. in fact a message, of hope.

What time is it on the Church calendar

During this sacred season of Lent which is slowly but surely coming to an end, with Easter fast approaching, the theme of ‘resurrection of the dead’ comes to the fore more than in any other season on the Church Calendar. With resurrection of the dead body, as was evidenced by Jesus’ own resurrection on the third day after he had been buried, we cannot but marvel at God’s power and ability to transform dead bodies into living ones. In resurrection, the theme of the regenerating power of God shines through and through. Simply put, God is able to transform lifeless situations into situations of great rejuvenation and promise. In Paul’s own words, ‘the body that is sown perishable”, through God’s transforming power is suddenly transformed/raised into being imperishable and enduring forever. One Biblical commentator, in capturing the transformation God brings in resurrection, had this to say: “This will be the case and condition of risen bodies, they will be as different from what they now are”. Brothers and Sisters, and right there lies God’s power “to make things different from what they used to be”, as the Commentator also argued.

It is now common knowledge that our country, alongside other countries of the world, is
in a nationwide 21-day lockdown in a bid to limit and prevent the spread of the deadly
Coronavirus. The curfew plus the fact that the number of new infections continues to rise makes the situation in our country a very gloomy one. As at 31 March 2020, our Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, reported the figure of confirmed coronavirus cases stood at 1353 which is an increase of about forty-six (46) from the figure for the previous day. This rather bleak situation has caused South Africans untold anxiety and stress. Be that as it may, as Believers, the message of resurrection talks directly to our seemingly hopeless situation. In view of the fact that the story of resurrection is all about God who is able to turn a dead and hopeless situation around, God is therefore our true and only hope whenever hopelessness, for whatever reason, creeps in, in our lives. Specifically, our God can transform our nightmare of Coronavirus-induced fear into a bright daybreak of hope that the disease will be a thing of the post.

Resurrection is all about hope of victory of life over death, victory of light over darkness, victory of health over disease and sickness. For the present gloomy situation in our
country and around the globe regarding the Coronavirus global pandemic, hope therefore springs eternal for us that God will bring about the breakthrough we need in our fight against the scourge of Covid-19. The ever-rising curve of Covid-19 infections in our country, we hope, will be flattened and the number of infections drops and the number of recoveries will increase. For our current quagmire, we therefore invoke the spirit of resurrection, the spirit of victory over all adversities that our risen Lord, Jesus Christ had to face. Our victorious Lamb, we firmly believe, will conquer the pandemic for us and for that we continue to follow Him. God bless South Africa, God bless Africa, and God bless our world!

A blessed Easter to all of you and your loved ones, in Jesus’ name! Amen

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we humbly come before you, this sad and dark moment in our
country and in our world for your healing. Holy Spirit come down and heal our sick
world. We pray for the safe passage of all those departed souls who have succumbed
to the virus of death, known as Coronavirus. May their souls rest in peace. Gracious
God, we also bring before you all the bereaved families around the world, especially in
Italy for comfort. AMEN

By: S.N.N. Ngqakayi (Bishop)