St. Paul writes mostly in prose, but once in a while…he gets so excited that he can’t restrain his inner poet and he launches into a poetic riff that knocks us off our feet.
On Ash Wednesday I am supposed to say that dying is good news. Not like this. Death came like it does every year, but this year we could only stand behind double paned windows and wave at grandparents who were trying to remember our names. We crossed our fingers and did the math.
J. Todd Billings, in his new book, helps us ponder how we might live well even though we live in the full knowledge that this life, as we know it, will inevitably end.
On Sunday, January 26, Kobe Bryant, his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash. The deaths sent shockwaves through the NBA, Los Angeles, and the world at large.
The consolation of the sufferer is the fact that God does not abandon the human in her hour of most desperate need.
We were too young for something like this. Only 22 years old, and we had buried our own child.
Reflecting on those moments, I think I experienced what some call the “already-not yet,” the wonderful truth and the hard heartache of the Easter season.
Take a moment of silence to meditate upon Christ’s sacrifice for us.
How can we sing and believe the words “it is well with my soul” at times when it feels anything but? How can we walk through the “valley of the shadow” when it feels like another trial or loss might be the one that finally breaks us?
To be ready for Christ when he comes, our hearts must first be prepared for him. This is why the church originally celebrated the season of Advent before the season of Christmas—four weeks of preparation, candle-lighting, and quiet anticipation, followed by twelve days of feast and joyous celebration: the famous twelve days of Christmas.
Talking about death can be hard for us as adults. We think that must mean it is hard for our kids as well, but that need not be the case.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not cancer, not death, not doubts…
As a funeral home director, I have the privilege of walking with many families through the process of death. I can assure you that everyone is different.
Spending time with those who have recently lost a loved one, suddenly or slowly is to find yourself in the presence of God.
Part of the reason we yearn to die well is our desire to create comfort for ourselves even in death. Our mistake is in believing we can muster up this comfort in our own strength and works, as if we were the ones who conquered death.