"A Nice Change"
July 22, 2009
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4
Since everyone has been talking about the passing of Michael Jackson, I have resisted the urge to add to the noise.
I have also remained silent in regard to the recent passing of other notables like Ed McMahon, Gale Storm, Oscar Mayer, Jr., Robert McNamara, and Karl Malden. All of these were covered in the news and didn't call for any kind of commentary.
Still, today a few words about death might be in order.
That thought was motivated by two stories sent to me. One involves the death of a two-year-old girl in Florida. She was killed by the family's 12-foot-long pet Burmese python. It was a death, which was preventable and should never have happened.
The other story was carried on July 8th by The Associated Press. That article told of a New Jersey man who died after falling into a vat of melted chocolate.
Those two stories got me thinking that death is coming. I don't know when it's going to arrive for you or me. I don't know the manner in which death is going to show its face. But I do know it's coming. Stories like the ones I've just shared show that death is imminent for the rich, the powerful, the famous, the young, and the old. It is coming in a way that is predictable, and in way that seems impossible.
There is one other thing I know. I also know that life is coming.
Throughout the Bible the Lord assures us that His grace, as proven by Jesus' perfect life, His unfair death, and His victorious resurrection, promise that life is coming.
Did you hear what the book of Revelation says? Death shall be no more. Mourning shall be no more. Crying shall be no more. Pain shall be no more.
The grief we all experience when we say an earthly farewell to a loved one will be no more. It is a blessed thought, a wonderful fact. The Lord has done all that is necessary so people of faith may enter an eternity where death shall be no more.
This is why today I give thanks -- because of Jesus the former things have passed away.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, for having lived a life that would lead to the cross, I give thanks. By Your sacrifice, I shall, someday, enter a place where the old hurts and pains are gone; where death is banished and joy will reign forever. May I -- while there is still time -- share Your story with those who need to hear, to know, and to see how much You care. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries