On Sunday we talked about death. We opened up a dialogue on an important topic that affects us all but is so foreign to us at the same time. After I shared on Sunday, a friend came up to me and said death is supposed to be foreign to us because death was never to be.
This is so true but is so often misunderstood. So often people think of death as part of God’s will and plan. But death has never been, and won’t ever be part of the plan of God. Jesus died to conquer death. Death is an enemy and not an agent or activity of God.
So on Sunday I shared from 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul writes that death is an enemy. And yes it is true that death is the last enemy as Paul put it, but death is not an enemy that lasts. There is a future rushing forward to meet us where death will be swallowed up whole (Is. 28:5), where every tear will be wiped away (Rev. 21:4), where all will be restored (Acts 3:21). This is the future that needs to shape us. But how do we do that? Well I have two suggestions. First, don’t let death count the time and second, we get through it together.
My dad died two years ago on Sunday. It feels as if I’ve lost him for two years. But this is counting time through the lens of death, rather than the future that is before me. Because in reality, I am now two years closer to being reunited with him. God’s future is two years closer to becoming a reality. And yes, the loss I feel is real, and it is deep. But the loss isn’t permanent. So while I wait I will remember that a future is coming where all will be restored.
But how do you get through the “waiting” or the space between now and the future? Well I believe you get through it together. Andrew Root writes this, “God is present when death is shared, when suffering is joined”. So we get through to the future God has for us together. We share in the lives of each other refusing to let death have the last word. We remember memories, events, and people together.
So my sermon in one sentence was this: Death is wrong, death won’t last, and we get to the future promised to us together.
But sermons aren’t meant to just be heard, but to be lived. So this week why not go and join someone in their loss. Ask them about a loved one, send them a prayer, or mark a memory. Go and join someone and bring God with you…
- Questions for Adults: How have you viewed death growing up? What part struck you most about the sermon today? Is there anyone that you’ve been separated from because of death? How does today’s sermon help you in that separation? How can you help others who have recently experienced the separation of death?
- Questions for Young Families: Why is do you think that death is hard? Are you scared of death at all? Share how Jesus promises that death will never win, and that he gives us life.
- Challenge for this Week: Walk with others in your community and neighborhood who have experienced loss