I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
The story goes that a group of college students, having lunch in the cafeteria, began to talk about dying, and the consensus was that it wasn’t something that any of them thought about, that it was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind.
There was an older student in the cafeteria, a nun, who was taking refresher classes at the college. The students turned to her, since she was older than them, and a religious “authority”, to boot, and asked her, “Do you ever think about death and dying?”
The nun, in her middle 50’s, replied, “I think about death every day. I’m in my 50’s, and I know that the average life span is 75 years. If statistics are true, that means I will only live another 20 years, at most, and every day brings me one day closer to that reality.” Needless to say, they were given something to think about.
Two aphorisms are often with me:
“No one gets out of this life alive.”
“Don’t take life so serious, son, it ain’t nohow permanent.” (Porky Pine, in Pogo; Walt Kelly)
Life is a terminal disease; everyone comes with an expiration date. And just as determined as we are to try to avoid thinking about death, the thought of death is just that persistent in being heard, constantly niggling at the back of our minds.
But as Christians, we know that death, while serious, ain’t nohow permanent. Jesus, God incarnate, died on Pilate’s cross. He tasted death (Heb. 2:9), but as our Pioneer (Heb. 12:2), our Trailblazer, He opened the way to Eternal Life.
Yes, death is a fact of life. But for the Christian, it ain’t nohow permanent.