Death is not the end of the road; it is only a bend in the road. The road winds only through those paths through which Christ Himself has gone. This Travel Agent does not expect us to discover the trail for ourselves. Often we say that Christ will meet us on the other side. That is true, of course, but misleading. Let us never forget that He walks with us on this side of the curtain and then guides us through the opening. We will meet Him there, because we have met Him here.
Erwin LutzerOne Minute After You Die, Moody, 1997, p. 78-79.
Peter Drucker the business guru and author of this wisdom was once asked how he was saved by Jesus. He said "When I fully understood grace, I knew I'd never get a better deal".
Yesterday, I had an interesting and lively chat about death, Jesus and faith with a friend and a dear and inspiring lady sitting on a next door table in a coffee shop. Neither of them are Christians. We talked about meaning, doing 'meaningful things' and fear of dying. I tried, rather unsuccessfully it felt, to explain that the death of Jesus takes away the sting of death for us and tried as best I knew how to explain grace.
Death is so very hard. A few weeks ago a dear Vicar friend and his church faced the fact that someone they all loved was probably going to die. I say probably because this is not just a church but one of great faith and Nix was neither someone who liked to give up nor did she want death to have its way, as her blog request for us to pray showed. She fought for life, believed for life and wanted life for her and her three young children. She longed to defeat the dreadful cancer that had gone to war with her body and many thousands of us were praying around the world and believing for a miracle. Sadly it didn't come.
A few days afterwards my friend preached this moving sermon to his church. Many of my readers are pastors and we know what it is to preach into pain and to face people's deepest questions, as well as our own which are so often mixed together at these times. Many others of you have faced the death of those you love and in some cases the seemingly random nature of those it grabs. This talk has helped me deeply personally as I walk with someone day by day in the midst of fighting cancer and it keeps me believing and praying. This will be a talk I will return to often- you might too, especially at times of suffering and questions (the story of the school is amazing). It will always remind me never to give up on hope, to pray continually, to always pray for those who are sick and to trust in grace.
If you have not watched Death is not dying it might be a blessing.
The Hardest Sermon's you will ever have to preach is worth owning too.