A Jagged Word


“The most contrary of experiences in prayer is to learn to defy one’s own death. Death, like sin, is governed in Christian lives by the joy of scoffing, ridicule, and sarcasm. The power of faith, that makes praying possible is to laugh at death when the whole world cowers at its feet; it is to dismiss death, not because of one’s own power, but because Christ has conquered it. Sarcasm is the basis of the vibrant new life of the Christian and the primary mode of prayer – which it freely applies to the powers of this old Aeon: ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?‘ (1 Cor. 15:55). Ridiculing death is now no longer howling at the moon; it is calling upon the name of the one man, Jesus Christ, who has defeated it and who gives us the power to sneer at death rather than deny it.”

– Steven D. Paulson, “Lutheran Theology,” (207)