November 9th, 2005


Of Penguins and DEATH!

I watched "The March of the Penguins" last night. It was my house-mate Jason's birthday party of sorts. He is twenty-three.

The entire film screamed out DEATH! to me. Perhaps this means that I take films on animals too seriously. Last month, while watching another nature-based film on animals (bears, this time), I had the same thought: DEATH!

All of creation is struggling, fighting against death. Each animal has it's own unique and sometimes incredible way of fighting for life, for continuance.

I don't think that it was always this way. Creation was not meant to be cloaked in death.

Something terrible happened on earth when man turned from God. Death. Man cast himself and this world into a suicidal dance with death. Animals must protect themselves from the elements or else DEATH! Animals must fight and flee from other animals or else DEATH! Animals must escape the grip of human progress or else DEATH!

Most people would at this point turn to me and say: "Yes, we agree. But death is natural."

No, it is not. God created all things and all things were created good. It is when man turned from God's natural order of things that death and corruption entered into existence. Death is not natural. Death is an aberration, a fault. Death is the terrible consequence of existence apart from God.

That means that the food-chain, the killing of one animal by another is somehow "fallen". The death of a penguin by the harsh winds of the South Pole is somehow "fallen". The struggle, the constant and exhausting struggle to merely stay alive is "fallen." This was not how Creation was supposed to exist. It is certainly not ideal.

The Apostle Paul tells us that "All of creation groans", awaiting a day when death has no more sting.

Christ died. But in His death He transformed death into life. He "trampled down death by death." He made all things new, including death. How so? For those that die in Him, death is nothing more than a passage into life.

We live now in a half-life, a life polluted by death and corruption. We will live then in life in all its fullness. The bits of brilliance, of joy, of peace and of love that we experience from time to time are but glimpses. These are "break-throughs", sudden gasps of air in a suffocating environment. These bits of life are trips into the Kingdom of God that is here already partially concealed, but yet to come fully revealed.

We receive foretastes of the Kingdom in this life-this half-life, this life-on-occasion. In the Church, in worship of Christ we "break-through" to this life to come, this Real Life.

One day we will no longer "break-through" but we will simply continually experience. We will truly be always and forever ALIVE.


I will be leaving tomorrow morning for Wisconsin. I will be returning on Monday the 14th. Take this time to write me letters, send me packages and generally spread good words about me to your companions.

-vast and empty silence-