All Ordinary lives end in death. That fact should not surprise you. Nevertheless, the statement, while true, is difficult to accept.
In 1927, soon after the unexpected death of his wife, A.J. Gossip preached a sermon to his church in Aberdeen, Scotland. He boldly stated . . .
The mishandling of death is evident. We use alternative words such as "passed" or "is no longer with us." Death is just difficult to say. It need not be - not for Christians at least.
Here's a bit of what Paul had to say about death.
I enjoy life. I enjoy life with my wife, my children, my church family, and my friends. I have no death wish. However, I fear not death nor its coming. A few years ago, I heard Green River Ordinance's song, "When My Days Are Done" for the first time. The mentions of growing "old with my best friend," "beauty of my son's first steps," and "little girls smiling back at me" made me smile as my mind went down the proverbial lane. Then came the chorus . . .
Fueled with memories and inspiration, I told my wife that I knew that I wanted my Celebration of Life service (a more easily received name for Funeral - see previous Gossip quote) to be just that - a Celebration. Not a celebration with dancing on my grave mind you, but a true celebration of life and more than that - a celebration of the Giver of life.
If you had access to my wife's phone, you could go to her Notes App and you would find a rough draft of the Order of Service for that Celebration. Sure, I hope they say a few nice things about me. But those words need to take a back seat to the worship of God.
I do not know when my days will be done. No matter the number of days left, I will die sooner or later. And, thanks to the comforting words of God in Scripture, I do not fear that day because "whether [I] live or die, [I] belong to the Lord" and "surely, that is where [my] thoughts should dwell."
Gossip, Arthur John. "But When Life Tumbles In, What Then?" A Seattle Contemplative, Oct. 20 2017, a-seattle-contemplative.blogspot.com/2017/10/but-when-life-tumbles-in-what-then.html (March 8 2022).
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