Grieving the Old Life

Text: Romans 6:4
Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (NRSV)

I always get strange looks from my couples in premarital counseling when I announce our topic for discussion is the grieving process.  They look at each other then they look at me.  I can almost read their thoughts; “I thought this was about getting married?  Isn’t that supposed to be a happy occasion?”  

Well, of course marriage is supposed to be a happy occasion but, you can never start something new without giving up the old.  When we give up the old, we must go through the process of grieving before we can fully let go of the old.  Old apartments, independence, changes in the way you grew up celebrating major holidays, etc. etc. etc. all may have to be left behind for the new and exciting things that will replace them when you get married.

The same is true of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  Although it is a wonderful thing that leads us into a new life that is the life God has always intended for us, if we do not grieve the loss of the old, we will probably never fully live into the new.  

This may be one of the reasons that Paul talks about our baptism being a baptism into death.  It is a complete loss of the old.  Funerals are, of course, places where we understand grief being present.  When it is our own funeral, even if it is simply a metaphor, we must put what has “died” behind us, and fully invest in the “newness of life” as Paul calls it.

Have you stepped out of your old life with both feet to enter into the new life found in Jesus Christ?  Have you grieved what you have left behind so that you can move on with no attachment to the broken ways of the past?

Pray with me:

God, help me to fully let go of my old way of life that I lived before meeting you.  Help me to grieve what is left behind, even when in my heart I know that the old ways were wrong.  Help me to walk into my relationship with you ready for everything to be made new through your Son, Jesus the Christ.  I pray these things in the name of Jesus.  AMEN.

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