There comes a point in our life when we pay as much attention to the obituary page as we do the sports page. There are times when the finality of life becomes unavoidable.
This past week our family celebrated another beautiful birth, a healthy baby boy. As we basked in the mystery of his birth we were also reminded of the thin line between birth and heartache (my soul grieves for those who have been on the sorrow-filled side of that line). This little guy was born with a knot in his umbilical cord. Thankfully there was little or no restriction. But it makes one reflect.
This past year, this past week, in our community we have endured numerous tragic deaths. Some the result of desperation and self-doubt. These types of losses break our heart as a community. Some the result of the ravages of disease. We wish we could take their pain, but we can’t. And, for the sudden accidental deaths on the road or at home, all that we can offer is our presence, and shared tears.
Last week I visited an 88-year-old friend. His health was rapidly deteriorating. We talked about life and faith. I read some Bible passages and recited Psalm 23. As I was leaving we both began to sing the hymn, “One Day at a Time.” Part of the chorus contains these words, “Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine, Lord, help me today, show me the way one day at a time.” The day I am writing this, less than five days later, his wife informed me that he passed away. My tears are mixed with joy.
I would not serve as a Christian pastor if I did not believe Jesus is who he said he is and that he has done what the Bible says he has done.
I hold the promise, ridiculous unless it is true, that when Jesus said in John chapter 11, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” He meant it. He is the only one who can back up such a claim. I’m crazy enough (smart enough) to believe it. If you haven’t already discovered this yourself, I invite you take a good honest look at Jesus.
Curt McFarland is a pastor at Moses Lake Presbyterian Church. He wrote this article on behalf of the Moses Lake Ministerial Association.