Thoughts About Life (and Death)

Thoughts About Life (and Death)

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

This week has been occupied with the celebration of the life of George H.W.Bush, our 41st President. Mr. Bush passed away last Friday, leaving a legacy of public service that is second to none. Whatever you may think of his politics, the decisions he made while in public service, or his privileged background, think beyond those things to the man…to his family…to his legacy. He indeed had a servant’s heart and acted on it as best he knew how.
And if you watch any of the ceremonies this week, you perhaps caught several scenes that will be replayed many times. Senator Dole standing and saluting his President and comrade in arms. George W. Bush giving a eulogy for his dad. Alan Simpson keeping the spirit of the ceremonies a little lighter. The military bands and honor guards. The train that carried the body of the President to his final resting place. All of these and more are now memories for those of us who have watched these things via the miracle of television and Internet.
And yet, in spite of all of the pomp and ceremony…despite all of the accolades and words of kindness…there looms large the idea of death, the afterlife, eternity, judgment, and God. Many people who profess no particular religious affiliation even think of these things and struggle at times to make sense of it all. And for those of us who call ourselves Christian, we even look at this holy time and wonder what it will be like when we ourselves meet the same fate as Mr. Bush and countless others that we have known and loved.
Death, it is said, is the great equalizer. No matter your status in life, no matter your social class, no matter your education, your family ties or your nationality, in death we all become equal. We cannot escape it. We all must eventually face the separation of our body from our spirit. The body dies and returns to the dust from which it is made. The spirit returns, we believe, to the God who gave it, awaiting the time when body and spirit will again be united…but this time for eternity never to die again.
Paul the apostle talks about this very subject in one of his letters that has been preserved for us. At the end of the discussion about the body, the spirit, death and resurrection he says, “Comfort one-another with these words.” Death and dying need not be a terrifying or scary proposition. We need not fear or obsess over what will happen. In fact, Paul says that we should take comfort in the idea of resurrection and eternal life…that it is something for which to be grateful and yes, even joyful.
None of us knows the exact time of our demise. We don’t know if we have another day, another month, or another decade of life here. But we can know what will happen when that time eventually comes, when we part this life and enter into the next. Our faith in Jesus Christ…our taking on his righteousness and giving him our unrighteousness…our acceptance of his grace and forgiveness and our pledge to serve the only true God and Father of us all are what give us that Hope that is so often talked about in the Bible, and the assurance of life everlasting beyond. That life can be yours. And yours. And yours. Why not do it today?

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