Rev. Aleese Kenitzer
Rev. Aleese Kenitzer
Aleese Kenitzer serves as the pastor of Shepherd of the Cross Church in Muscatine.

Muscatine Living

Life and death. Beginnings and endings. It’s the story of our lives, the story of our world, and the story of the church.

In complete disclosure, in the past few weeks my family and I have experienced our fair share of beginnings and endings. We’ve laid to rest my dear grandmother, and we’ve welcomed a new little baby, my nephew, into the world. We’ve experienced shifts within relationships, and we’ve been presented with new opportunities for future adventures. To even begin to count the number of beginnings and endings that we have experienced would almost be overwhelming. And yet, the more that I’ve thought about what is going on within my own life, the more I have begun to notice that this pattern of beginnings and endings, life and death, isn’t just in my life. This is the story of all of our lives. Beginnings and endings. Life and death. All at the same time.

In preparation for my grandmother’s funeral, I was steered to an old piece of wisdom, “for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die…a time to weep, and a time to laugh…a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

Previously, when reading this, I could think of times within my own life that I found myself in one of those places or another, times when I either was weeping or was laughing, or times I was either mourning or dancing. But within the past week, I have come to discover that true life is lived in the midst of these dichotomies. As much as it would be simpler to experience only one or the other at a time, the reality of life is that we likely experience more than one of these things…All. At. The. Same. Time.

But the good news that I have clung to this past week has been the promise that even when we experience both ends of the spectrum, there is one constant, a constant that goes beyond “death and taxes.” Instead, we are given a constant through the promise of Jesus Christ. For through him, we are promised that death (and taxes) don’t have to have the final word.

Instead, new life, and new beginnings, will keep showing up on the horizon. For better or for worse, I know that my life, and this world, isn’t going to stop shifting. And knowing the realities that surround us in our world, I also know that we will all continue to experience “little deaths” as we navigate through this world. But even as we experience endings, and even as we find ourselves looking death in the eye, we can hope – for a new dawn is always coming.

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