I have learned many things as a pastor and am sure I will learn much more. One of the main things I have learned is that people do not like talking about… death and dying. People would rather talk about anything else; just not that topic. However, death is part of life and it is something that we all must face.
We do not need modern technology or scientific breakthrough to achieve immortality. Although there have been many searches and attempts, nothing has been achieved. The answer has been right in front of us, but many choose not to accept that answer. It becomes a matter of not believing or believing, and it is a matter of faith.
Our journey of faith is impacted now as we begin the Advent season which leads to the celebration of the birth of Jesus. (The word Advent is a version of a Latin term which means “coming.”) Without the birth of Jesus and his life upon this earth, and his crucifixion and resurrection, we would not be even able to discuss eternal life. The birth of Jesus gives humanity hope.
Earlier this year Willie Nelson officially released “Still Not Dead Again Today” on his new album God’s Problem Child. The song reflects on his experience of reading on the Internet that he had died the day before. He sounds so cheerful as he sings: “I woke up still not dead again today.”
Part of the lyrics go like this: “I woke up still dead again today; The Internet said I had passed away. If I died I wasn’t dead to stay, And I woke up still not dead again today.”
Before Willie, there was Mark Twain, who, upon hearing of his death, wrote: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
We do not want to talk about death, but death is inevitable. We get excited when we read the morning newspaper or the news on the computer, iPad, smartphone, etc. and discover that it is a good day because our obituary is not there. We do not want to hear about death, especially our own, because we are excited about life. At least I hope we are. Life is about living and making a difference and doing something good.
But what if we truly could live forever? WE CAN! “If I died I wasn’t dead to stay.” Amen. Eventually we will die but we have the opportunity to live forever. Death is swallowed up in victory through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Death will be no more!
Embrace life this Advent and Christmas season! Do not get caught up in all of the artificial holiday glitz, but instead acknowledge the one true light who can give us eternal life!