In our devotional today, we read about the death of John the Baptist. Death is no good, particularly when it is the result of capricious and unjust actions.
In many ways, death is a very large part of my life. As a pastor I deal with it regularly in funerals and counseling, death comes in many forms, and I deal with many of them, physical, spiritual, and relational.
I have had friends who knew me bp that is before pastor, and they often say I could never do what you do, particularly around funerals. Now while that may be true, it is a very blessed part of my job, walking with families through the valley of the shadow of death is a high honor.
One of my main jobs is to point beyond death as we know it, as we see it and as we feel it to the other way that death is a part of my life. As a baptized Christian, I am daily drowned to sin, put to, death and I am raised with Christ anew in forgiveness mercy and grace.
Remembering this gift of life in the midst of death can bring new growth, hope for the future and life. Some of the best times I have had in ministry have been after the funeral service its self. Reminded of God’s promise of Life in Christ in the worship service and graveside service the family then returns to the church basement for a luncheon. It is here that I have then seen families and friends greive, laugh, talk, eat, cry, and heal. Death for now still stings a bit, but it does not have the final word, the Son does, and the word the Son gives is a word of life now and forever!