It’s a subject most people don’t like to talk about. We live in a culture that has a difficult time even saying the word. We’d rather avoid it and say “passed away” or “fell asleep.” Yet, it is the one thing in life we’ll all face.
Death is inevitable. Yet, we don’t know the day or the time.
Our culture has a weird relationship with death. When we see death in entertainment, we don’t shudder or fear it. Is that because in entertainment, we know it is fake? The actor will just get up and go on with life? I wonder what kind of effect this has on how we deal with death. Does it cheapen death or push the reality of death even farther away from us?
Yet death is inevitable.
But it doesn’t have the final say. God has made sure of that and made a promise to us that death does not have the final say.
On Sunday I spoke about why we say the creed. There are many reasons to say the creed in worship, but I focused on one reason. During a funeral, you have a body – a dead body or the ashes of a dead body present. Death is there – very present. The people who show up to pay their respects have to deal with death. There is no escape, there is no way to distract from the reality of death. And it is at this very moment when the promises of the creed become very relevant – the promise of the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. We say the creed in church in preparation for times when it might be difficult to belief what we claim. Yet, the promise is there.
Death is inevitable, but the promise of God is sacred. And God doesn’t ever fall back on God’s word. That is a certainty.
We may not know the time or the means, but we have the promise. The promise that we will not be forgotten. The promise that death will not have the final say. The promise that God will resurrect and restore life and all of creation. The promise that God wins.