The message I got, especially when I was younger was that death, my mortality, was the defining moment of my life. This life was of little significance but simply a prelude to the next and it this next life that should be my focus
This preoccupation with death and the next life worked against any sense of connection with the web of life and promoted a sense of homelessness in the world. Each of us, rugged individuals, quarrying away at our own salvation…..
uncoupled from the web of life…..and the environment suffered and we suffered.
Birth is the other end of life. Theology and philosophy have ignored it for the most part. This time of year gives us an opportunity to redress the balance and focus on birth – birth as the defining moment of life….. to consider our natality as well as our mortality.
Our natality gives us the possibility of beginning again. It is because we are beginnings, are natals – that we can make a fresh start, be free to do things new…
Ellie Wiesel states that, ‘What God gave Adam was not forgiveness from sin; what God gave Adam was the chance to begin again’.
Natality wants us to recognise the interconnectedness of all things, wants us to recover our kinship with the earth and become people of wonder and excitement rather then of gloom and suspicion. Celebrate our lives rather then spend them all the time preparing for the next life.
Let us celebrate our birth, the actuality of living as well as recognising the inevitability of death…….recognise our natality……our capacity to be reborn…
and know that we always have this chance to ‘begin again’ in the kindness and
loving mercy of our God.