Solomon suggested there was a time to be born. Was he right? The easiest part of life is the being born part; at least for the one being born. Babies come every second of every minute, all day long, each and every day. Our world is one big baby factory. It’s a fact of life. So much so that most of us spend little, or no time at all, thinking about our birth, it happened, we live, so Hallelujah!
But there is another part, it’s the death part. Solomon also said that there was a time to die. Was he right? Death happens to us all, there is no escape. How do we feel about dying? Does it give us angst? Do we hold on to life with a white knuckled grip, our genetic code fueling our fight? Is the demon of death filling us with fear, plaguing our dreams, and driving us to immortality?
Some pass away after a good and gracious life. They die happy. They die ready for what’s next, for they die in the Lord. Others are ripped from us much to soon, cut down in their prime, or worse, in their youth. Some are taken instantly, with no time for the living to prepare. We are filled with grief, sadness, and doubt. We ask why. We want answers. Maybe the hardest death of all is the senseless, meaningless death, a death devoid of purpose.
No, it’s not the being born part, it’s the dying that ties us in knots. The longer I live, the more family and friends I lose. The older I get, the funerals I’m asked to perform only increase in frequency. Death is a hard thing, creating hard questions but offering few if any satisfying answers. Sometimes we are left alone with only the grief, and its pain.
But I am reminded that Jesus had a death, and his was neither easy or gentle. His death was a prerequisite to resurrection. His resurrection a precursor to ascension, and his ascension necessary for pouring out the Holy Spirit on the world.
Death is rooted in our lives and permeates our world. But Jesus said, “In this world you will have much tribulation, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” And he did. He died in our place, he overcame a dark and broken world to redeem a fallen humanity.
Blessed are those who die in the Lord.