Are you ready to die?
get ready to die by dying.
Human beings run from death. We often try not to think about it. We
push it aside for another day. We live as creatures who daily deny that
they are mortal.
Much about our personalities, attitudes, perspectives and thinking
arises from a denial of death. We have many ways of trying to tell ourselves
that we are immortal, invulnerable, strong, powerful, invincible. We tell
ourselves these things while much of our experience tells us something
else: People die; they get sick; they are weak, vulnerable and helpless.
We deny our weakness and mortality by:
Escaping into super-hero stories/ movies
Talking brave &
fearless (when underneath we are afraid); Being macho
Being controlling; Being the fixers of situations; Being fixers of others;
Being fixers of ourselves
Talking our way out of problems; Talking others out of problems; Having
solutions for everything
Closing ourselves off from others
Being unwilling to "let it be"
Being believers in ourselves
Jesus' attitude toward death and dying:
Death is one of the "enemies" he has come to vanquish.
Luke 7:22 And he answered them, "Go and tell John what you have
seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers
are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news
brought to them."
John 5:24 Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes
him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but
has passed from death to life.
Death is something he has come to take upon himself.
John 10:17-18 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay
down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but
I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have
power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.
Death is something we are to take upon ourselves:
John 12:24-26 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat
falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if
it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and
those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant
be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
There is no rising without
dying. No new life without:
Letting go. Emptying
ourselves. Giving up our lives to God and to one another. Being open. Being
receptive. Living thankfully. Trusting in God. Movable, transformable.
Obedient. Not worrying about tomorrow. Waiting. Watching.
Questions for Reflection & Sharing
What are your feelings about death?
What does the Lord say to you about your death?
How has God helped you with the task of dying?
We experience new life through dying. Can you think of experiences where
through dying to something in your life you came to experience new life?