Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thinking About Death

Our culture does all it can to avoid death issues. Christians have hope in the face of death, but even "popular Christianity" seems too often to go for the fluff.

Death has been part of my consciousness for years. In my formative days I heard preaching described as "a dying man talking to dying people," and that shaped my approach to declaring the Scriptures for three decades.

This morning's Office of Readings has a wonderful selection from St. Ambrose, the Church Father from the fourth century:

The Lord allowed death to enter this world so that sin might come to an end. But he gave us the resurrection of the dead so that our nature might not end, and the resurrection was to enable our nature to continue for ever.

"Death" in this context is a passover to be made by all mankind. You must keep facing it with perseverance. It is a passover from corruption, from mortality to immortality, from rough seas to a calm harbor. The word "death" must not trouble us; the blessings that come from a safe journey should bring us joy. What is death but the burial of sin and the resurrection of goodness?
Here is a saying you can depend on: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him (2 Tim 2:11,12)

Think about it!

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