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How to describe what happens to us after death?

The Gospels bear witness to the experience of Jesus’ earliest followers seeing one they knew as Jesus in bodily form; it is striking that in one account they do not recognize him. This is a movement that theologians refer to as the movement from Jesus to Christ. From these tellings in our tradition, we proclaim in our creeds, prayer and our own lives the encounters with the Risen One.

Many of us want proof of an afterlife. We scour studies conducted of those who have had near death experiences to find evidence of life beyond death. Some people visit mediums to contact the ghosts of our dead loved ones.

Currently astronomers are giving us glimpses of wonder with the James Webb telescope’s pictures. We are seeing stars being born and dying. Indeed, some biologists are claiming we are made of stardust.

Recently I spoke with a young person who was grieving. As she spoke she described her loved one as stardust. The American Heritage Dictionary defines ‘stardust’ as:

  1. Charm or attractiveness that stems from celebrity and tends to forestall criticism.
  2. A dreamlike, romantic, or uncritical sense of well-being.
  3. Dust formed in very hot gasses ejected from stellar atmospheres or in supernova explosions.

I wonder how resurrection and stardust may be related.

-The Reverend Lisa Hunt, Rector