The sting is elsewhere
Friday, April 14, 2000
We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. -- 1 Thessalonians 4:14
Death. Although it has not yet experienced me, I have experienced it many times over. For that matter I believe we all have. If we look at it, there is a strange mystery all around it. The one thing we know is when someone dies, the living no longer are in the same relationship with the dead. Is there some way in which we might find some understanding in the very nature of death? Is there some way in which we can understand this event? Maybe. Have you ever done something so terrible that you believed it to be the end of everything. Your life was going to change and no one would relate to you in the same way? Dying could be like becoming ostracized and even unlovable. The result might be us falling back and wishing to be invisible, so no one might see us in our current state. There doesn't seem to be much about death that is good.
Well hear the Good News, Jesus brought and bought us a great gift. That gift is grace. It is by grace that though we will all die at some time, we will experience new life through Christ. This new life is a different type of thing all together. As Paul puts it, the difference might be that of a seed and a tree. The two look nothing like one another, they interact with the "world" in two different ways. If fact, you can't have the tree without the seed.
Today, we are having a memorial service for David Strawser, one of our ushers. His daughter is in my confirmation class this year. His illness can as a surprise and his death as a surprise too. David will be missed by many, but the comfort Susanna has had this week is knowing that David is not alone, rather he is with Christ. Life is precious, so precious we are given precious comfort, even in death.
Holy and Almighty Father, thank you for raising Jesus from the dead and giving me the assurance of eternal life with you, and with those I love who have already passed from this life into death. I look forward to the day Jesus returns in glory, with the angels of heaven, and brings complete victory over death. Thank you in Jesus' name. Amen.