August 20, 2019

Yesterday, Phillip was working in the crawlspace between the sanctuary ceiling and the roof. It was insufferably hot. Earlier, he had asked if I wanted to go with him but I am very delicate and knew I couldn’t handle the heat.

When Phillip was through, he came by the office to tell me what he had found. That’s when I noticed he was completely drenched in sweat.

I offered to get him a bottle of water from the refrigerator in the breakroom and explained that I didn’t want him to die from a heatstroke because my schedule was full and I didn’t have time for his funeral. Also, the fact that I have given Phillip at least twelve free funerals for the many things he has done for our church meant that if I did have to do his funeral, twelve back-to-back funerals was going to be a very long day.

Phillip was truly moved by my pastoral compassion and explained he was not ready to die because he still had too much to do. I was very appreciative.

Christians can have fun conversations like this because death is not something we are afraid of. It’s just a part of life and for us, dying is simply stepping through the door of this life into eternal life. But if we are still here, that means God still has something for us to do.

This understanding of death has been around as long as there have been Christians. It’s what Paul meant when he said to the church at Philippi: “Because for me, living serves Christ and dying is even better. If I continue to live in this world, I get results from my work. But I don’t know what I prefer. I’m torn between the two because I want to leave this life and be with Christ, which is far better. However, it’s more important for me to stay in this world for your sake.” (Philippians 1:21-24)

If you have given yourself to Jesus Christ, death is not to be feared. That’s because God always wins. He will bring you home.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, thank you for death and the new life that it brings. While I am in this world, help me see my purpose. When I have completed my tasks, bring me home. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

If you are worried about your future death, don’t be. God’s already there. He’s waiting for you.

Also, just for the record. Some of the members of the church are more interested in other things than funerals. Take the Harveys or Browns for instance. I gave up counting how many daughters they have, but it’s a bunch. They are much more interested in free weddings than funerals. I don’t blame them.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins