Death is usually a taboo subject, not spoken of in families - even when a person is on life support in the hospital. We don’t want to give a living person the impression we are somehow thinking they might die, or that we are wishing them dead, or “jinxing them”. So we rarely think or speak of death. It is estimated that half of all adult Americans don’t have a will or advance directives for end-of-life care. It is depressing and remorseful, to think about so only 42% talk about it to an attorney , It is not usually until we get into our late 70 or 80 or even 90 we allow ourselves to think of death.
But the corona virus has changed all that. Young and old alike are thinking of death, living in fear of an early death from the virus. We wonder if even a family member might be carrying a death sentence which we might catch too, have to be rushed to the hospital and have their - or our - life end after the condition progresses and ventilators can’t help. On every newscast there is a tally of deaths in each of our states and around the world, how many have perished.
In April of 2020, our own death, our children’s, spouses, parent’s, grandparent’s, and neighbor’s deaths are on our mind and can cloud our ability to live in the present. We still keep fears or anxiety inside our hearts and don’t speak the words out loud. Even in churches there has been over the years less and less interest in holy Friday services, walking with Jesus to the cross and his eventual death.
Our Christian faith is calling to us this week to look at death too. But not with the fear and angst, forbidding, and deliberate avoidance, but with a renewal of hope in life and eternity. With confidence and celebration, with freedom and new life, Easter is about joy and light and this is a message we want to share! There just can’t be enough conversation about Jesus’death and His empty tomb and stone rolled away. Today we want to be encouraged to walk through death into a new hope and life, to acknowledge human death is inevitable. Yet there is a reason to rejoice and have hope. Jesus rose from his death bed, and walked and talked and ate, and lived again, that promise is ours too.
So let’s speak of Death not in fear but as a promise, not as an ending, but as a beginning of a new life with Christ by our side. Christ the Lord has risen today, may that give all of us, Hope!! Alleluia!