The Christian and Death

Bill stopped by my blog and encouraged me a couple weeks ago.  No one knew but Bill and me, but it encouraged me a lot, because it wasn’t easy to do.  Bill has ALS, and now can’t even use a “head mouse” (which operates by slight head movements).  The disease has progressed to the point where he uses eye-tracking software to operate his computer.

Well, Bill’s eye-tracking computer crashed.

Unfortunately the company that made the software I have been using for 10+ years was bought by a larger company that did away with the software. I am now having to learn a completely new system and it has been a real challenge, but it’s a challenge that I’m determined to conquer.

This is why I have been so slow in replying to blog comments and email… I was without a computer for three weeks and the computer I’m using now is a loaner from MDA (I am so thankful for MDA). I am in the process of ordering a new computer, but it’s a slow process.

This computer was slow, and everything was hard to learn.  But one day, while Bill was using this loaner computer, he came by my blog and left a “Like.”  WordPress has a facility in their blog reader for bloggers to “Like” one another’s work.  For several reasons I don’t display the “Like” button on my blog, and I use a different blog reader.  But I still get “Likes” from other bloggers, though no one but me sees them.

It meant a lot to get that “Like” from Bill, because it couldn’t have been all that easy for him to even read my blog, let alone send me a “Like.”  But then, Bill seems to spend a lot of time looking to encourage people.  I almost never comment on his blog, because I know if I do he’ll answer every comment, and I know it is harder for him to answer than it is for me to comment.

So, why am I talking about Bill today?  Because today is Resurrection Sunday, and Bill, who is probably much more aware of death than most of us, wrote earlier this week about death.  His article reminded me of something George Herbert wrote some 400 years ago.

A DIALOGUE-ANTHEM

CHRISTIAN, DEATH
George Herbert (1593-1633)

Christian: Alas, poor Death!  Where is thy glory?
Where is thy famous force, thy ancient sting?

Death:  Alas, poor mortal, void of story!
Go spell and read how I have killed thy King.

Christian: Poor Death!  And who was hurt thereby?
Thy curse being laid on Him makes thee accurst.

Death:  Let losers talk, yet thou shalt die;
These arms shall crush thee.  Christian: Spare not, do thy worst.

I shall be one day better than before;
Thou so much worse, that thou shalt be no more.

Bill tells about his computer troubles (and more):  The Importance of Purpose.  But this has all been just a really long introduction to the article to which I really wanted to point today, Thinking About Death.

 I hope to convince others that thinking about death on a daily basis is good for us emotionally and spiritually. 

This may seem strange to us, but does not the Scripture say this?

Colossians 3:2-3

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Bill writes about facing death as Christ faced it and defeated it.  There was no Resurrection if there was no death, and by taking death’s curse on Himself, he cursed and crushed death.

I suppose everyone’s list of deathbed regrets would vary from the above list, but in truth we’ll only have one regret on our deathbed: “I wish that I hadn’t lived in denial that this day would come. All of our regrets grow out of denial about our death. One would think, as I once thought, that thinking about our death, putting ourselves on our deathbed, every day would be depressing, but I’ve discovered that the opposite is true.

It seemed a very fine article to which I could refer my readers on Resurrection Sunday.  I hope you will read it.  I appreciate Bill making me think about death.

Jesus Chris is risen!  Death has been faced, its sting removed, its victory snatched away, its power crushed, its fear swallowed up in joy and victory!

Now is Christ risen from the dead,
and become the firstfruits of them that slept….  
Christ the firstfruits;
afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.

 

About Jon Gleason

Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
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