What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. …For this world in its present form is passing away. 1 Corinthians 7:29,31
A good many years ago, Edith Rockefeller McCormick, the daughter of John D. Rockefeller, ruled the ranks of society. Just one small expression of her wealth was the great number of servants in her employ. Their duties were manifold and varied, but there was one common, unbreakable rule: They were never, I mean NEVER, allowed to speak to her.
To the best of anyone’s recollection, only once was that rule broken. The exception came when Edith’s young son died of scarlet fever. Word of the young master’s death reached the McCormick’s summer retreat just as they were hosting a party. The servants decided this news could not be put off. One unlucky soul was selected to tell the great lady. The news was whispered into her ear. After a pause, Edith nodded her head, signifying she had understood the message. Then, with the news of her child’s death echoing in her head and heart, Mrs. McCormick did something most unusual: She continued the party just as if nothing had happened.
Unusual? I guess! Of course Mrs. McCormick’s reaction was no more unusual than that of millions who think (and live like) they are going to live forever. Such an idea might work for a battery bunny, but it doesn’t fit the human condition. In spite of proper diet, exercise, and regular checkups, statistics say that we are going to die. Even more than that, Scripture says not only we, but the entire world, will someday pass away.
For some folks, a final end is a frightening proposition. They want to keep things the way they are. They don’t want to say any final farewells. They try to ignore the end, fight against finality, and do all they can to postpone that which is inevitable. Argue as they will, the end is coming. Their end. My end. The world’s end. So that we shouldn’t be afraid of leaving this life, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came into this world. He spent all His days taking our place. Now, those who believe on Him as their Savior know that when their days are ended, they will have nothing to fear. The Lord Jesus, who died, was buried, and came back to life, has promised that He will be with all of His followers when they die. On that day, He will lead them from this temporary world to eternity in the next.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on January 26, 2003
The Prayer:Dear Lord, You are my eternal life. I rejoice in the life that I have in You. I will continue my daily duties and not be shaken by what appears to be earth-shattering news. Help me remember that You hold my life safely in the palm of Your hands. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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