Death, Doubts and Questions

Sunday’s message was different from any that I’ve maybe ever preached. It was one of the most difficult messages that I’ve maybe ever preached. There we were as a church family trying to make sense of the death of one of our brothers. There we were trying to be prepared for the week ahead, which now we know will end with a funeral. There are no easy answers. Here doubts and questions arise. Sometimes they seem to flow like a river. Other times they simply hang in the air we breathe. Shock is a word far too short and kind sounding to describe it. One Sunday Dan worshiped with us, a 60 year old with a bright and long future ahead of him. The next Sunday, he was in the presence of Jesus.

One thing to reiterate is related to our grief and the grief of his family and friends. Let us be good fellow mourners. Let us grieve well together. Someone once observed that Job’s friends did well in companioning him in all his losses, and then they spoke. Might we be those who are alongside one another well. Remember that your presence probably means more than your words. Remember too that as Christians its okay to say, “I don’t know.” God providentially put before me an article on doubt that might be of help to you too.  Here is the link: http://www.cmalliance.org/alife/grace-for-those-who-doubt/

Second, I am impressed more and more by the reality that there are no tomorrows guaranteed. We have today. We have this moment. Only God knows what lies beyond now. So if there is some good you know you should do, do it. If there is some sin that you’ve been holding on to, repent and move forward. If there is someone who you need to visit or call, make it happen. We’ve got right now. Let’s do our best to make the most of it.

Finally, thanks for all of your kind support for Judy and her family. I know they are very grateful. For me the most powerful moment Sunday was being at the front of our worship space and hearing your voices united in prayer. Here is a link to Dan’s obituary in case you missed any of the details about the upcoming visitation and funeral. http://www.corlfuneralchapel.com/obituaries/Daniel-Bartolomeo/#!/Obituary

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