An Integral Part of Living

Death. What kind of topic is that when spring is here? Spring is a time of life and renewal. What does death have to do with spring? Btu death most definitely does have a place in the life of every child of God. And death is an integral part of not only spring, but of every other season and time in our lives.

We prefer not to think about death unless we absolutely have to. If someone dies who we don’t know personally, we tend to ignore it or shrug it off. But it’s only when we come face to face with death that we are forced to think about it.

What really is death? For the children of this world it is a passage into uncertainty. It is a time of fear. Man has never really understood death. Ancient peoples buried food and weapons with their dead for their second life in the “happy hunting grounds.” The children of this world, to quote the lyrics of a popular song, “swear there ain’t no heaven but pray their ain’t no hell.” The wicked man lives in constant fear and trembling of God’s wrath. This may be an unconscious fear, but it’s there all the same.

We do not have to atone for our sins in purgatory, as the Roman Catholics believe. Immediately at the moment of death our souls are translated to heaven. Our earthly and infirm bodies are no longer the temple of God. The frail shells soon decompose back to that from which they were made, dust.

The most important death for children of God is celebrated, yes celebrated, in the spring. Without Christ’s atoning death on the cross, there would be no redemption of sins for us. All we would be able to look forward to would be certain death and punishment in hell for eternity. Now we are promised eternal life and glory through Christ’s death. The Bible in Proverbs 14:32 states, “…the righteous hath hope in his death.” Death for the child of God is not an ending, but a glorious beginning.

If we could choose the time of our death, we would choose to put it off indefinitely. Even with our earthly pains and infirmities this life is all we know. Heaven is an unknown element. We don’t know the extent of what awaits us. We can only describe heaven in terms of our life here on earth; and that comparison is not really a comparison at all.

The Bible also tells us we have a certain time to die. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us of a time to be born and a time to die. The Christian can take comfort in the fact that God won’t take us from this life until the time is ready. Jesus told us in John that Father prepares a place in Heaven for us. He knows better than we when it is time for our death.

When death strikes our loved ones, it is a time of sorrow. Why? Do we sorrow as the wicked do, for one who has left this “glorious” life to be buried in the cold earth and the unknown? No. We sorrow for ourselves, for those of us remaining on earth. We realize how wretched we are in comparison with the saints in glory. Perhaps this is why we prefer not to think about death. We cry for the void left in our lives even though we realize that our loved ones are much happier where they are. It would be extremely selfish on our part to wish them back.

Death for us should not be a time of sorrow, but of rejoicing. We should rejoice for one of God’s saints who has gone home. Psalm 116:15 states “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” We must look forward to the day when we also can be united with Christ our Lord. So when we face death here on earth, don’t be afraid or sorrowful…rejoice, for the death of one saint is bringing us that much closer to the realization of Christ’s kingdom and the fullness of time.