We usually say “Life and death.” It is so ingrained I even titled my sermon, “Life and death” and then go on to say I got it wrong. I would have been much better off using the title of this post. I think life before death makes sense when we are looking linearly at life but for the purposes of our texts, it makes much more sense to reverse them.
Three of our texts are drawn together by the notion of death and then life. Our Old Testament lesson is the well-known story of Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones. Our Epistle lesson has Paul talking about how our minds are oriented toward death if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to reshape our mind, our thinking, our very self toward life. The Gospel lesson is the story of Jesus bringing Lazarus back from the dead.
Each of these, in their own way, follow a path from death to life. Let me know if you think I made the case, or if I didn’t, in one or both of the sermons below. As always, thank you for reading and listening.