Easter Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:19-26
A dear friend of my family passed away this week. She had been steadily declining for months, now sadly and possibly with some relief, is at rest. To my shock, another friend passed away last week very suddenly. We know death is inevitable, yet it is not something we like to talk about. We may prefer death to be later rather than sooner, possibly slower than sudden. But how and when we die is beyond our control, more then we may acknowledge.
Christians have hope beyond death. Easter Sunday celebrates this. Jesus has risen from the dead; through him, those who belong to him are made alive. Christians need not fear death. But as our reading reminds us, Jesus’ resurrection is the first in line for life beyond death. Christians will not escape death but, like Christ, face death. Then, on Christ’s return, the believer receives resurrection life. Death remains our enemy to the end, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor 15:26). With our hope, Christians should not trivialise the loss, the affliction, the suffering, the ache of death. When someone dies, our enemy death has struck. Thanks be to God, we know because of Jesus our enemy does not, in the end, win.
I have valued reading “Listen: how to find the words for tender conversations” by Dr Kathryn Mannix. There are many valuable insights. Here is one, “talking about death won’t make it happen. But not talking robs us of choices and moments that will not come again.” Living knowing we have a due date that is unknown, but certain, is wise. We leave our homes every day, making sure those we love, know our love. We repent and forgive quickly. Life is too short to be estranged for too long. We pursue meaning, why waste our efforts and time? We enjoy life, especially with those we love, as this will not be forever. If you knew you were to die next week, what would you make right? Who would you spend time with? What would you say? Knowing this, don’t wait. Do this today.