The End Game…Death? Not even…

Devotional thought of the day:

In a biography I am reading, there are a number of quotes of the man of God talking about what he believed was his imminent death.  (By the dates of the events – he isn’t far off, but I haven’t gotten that far..yet.)  This year, a number of close friends have died again, and even today I am missing one friend’s memorial service because I am officiating at a service of another sister in Christ.

Scripture tells us that because of the death and resurrection of Christ, death has lost its victory, it has lost its poisonous sting.  While I believe that, while I know that, it is hard to look on faces that damp with flowing tears, with hearts that appeared crush.  Too often, I struggle to see them because my eyes too are blocked by the same liquid.  The pain is often unbearable, and some have asked what I know to say in those moments.

To be honest, there is only one thing to say…. to look at the person’s life, to see the connection that God made with them, to look at God’s faithfulness expressed in their life, and note the connection.  Note the love of God seen in their life, love that is impossible to have at work, unless God is present.  To then assure them of God’s care for their loved one, and His promise to bring us comfort, even as He has brought them into His joyous glory.  To share with them one perfect promise:

2:9 but it is as scripture says: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, what the mind of man cannot visualise; all that God has prepared for those who love him;
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NJB) 

all that.

All THAT..

Death will sting those who have yet to endure it – of that there is no doubt.  But for Fr. Josemarie, for JoAnn and Chuck, for Rev. McLeod, and Warren and Shirley and… and.. and..there is not sting..there is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – fully revealed…

There is ALL THAT… there is dwelling in His glory, in His peace, seeing Him face to face…knowing as we are known,,, and far more than we can ever see, hear, or imagine in this life.

We say they “rest in peace” yet, as we look at God’s promise, we know that we dwell in that same peace…even if our hearts struggle to rest in it.

Godspeed to all those who “survive”, and may His peace so overwhelm our hearts and minds…AMEN

After writing this blog, I had the honor of officiating at a memorial service.  I wrote this on my FB post, which serves to make the point of this blog:

As I sit down to complete my sermon for tomorrow, I can’t help but think of the man who just celebrated God’s love for his wife. Though he anticipated less than 10 people a crowd showed up to comfort him and thank God for her life, and how it touched them,
During the lunch that followed, he never sat down – but constantly circulated, showing pictures of them together, talking to them about God’s love, hearing their stories.

It is to witness God’s handiwork in such lives, that has come to mean more to me as a pastor than anything else. To see the effect of God’s word, as it brings comfort and peace, and yes – even joy in the midst of trauma…. leaves on in awe in God’s presence.

Truly, there is one blessing, said at every service, every Bible study of this church.  It is this:  “The Lord is with you!” – and I am blessed to see evidence of it, everyday.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on September 8, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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