Dealing with death’s shadow a part of life
Feb. 18 is the anniversary of Martin Luther’s death. As we are celebrating, in 2017, the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation we also note how it continues to influence us to this current day. We mark the beginning of the Reformation with Luther’s nailing 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenburg. Those theses, posted for debate, revolved around the subject of repentance and its place in our being right with God so that we can be sure of a place in heaven.
Death brings to our thoughts similar questions and ideas that tie into the 95 theses. Death is something we all face. We see it around us in many different ways. It is in the news. It is in nature. But it is most real when it affects us more directly. When we lose a loved one to death or when we are facing a terminal illness death can frighten us. So we are thankful that with the Reformation one aspect we celebrate is how God’s Word, the Bible, has been given back to all people. Now we can go directly to God’s loving words that reassure us that death is no longer something to fear.
Christians remember and even celebrate the day of someone’s death, because it is the “day of birth” into the life of the world to come. Death is not the end but the entrance into life. Jesus died on that cross in our place. He rose again, as we celebrate each Easter, assuring us that He gives us a new life that will never end. We Christians remember the day of death acknowledging how God comes to us as we deal with sin and the fear of death.
In God’s Holy Word we find the hope and comfort we need that gives us peace when we deal with death. Whether we remember those who have gone before us, or are approaching our own hour of death Jesus gives us the confidence to pray the same, or a similar, prayer to what He prayed when He died, as well as the Psalmist, and many other Christians, “Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God” (Psalm 31:5).
What a great blessing for us as we face life and death to have God’s Word in our own hands and know all that God has done for us.
If you want to know more about how you can deal with death and have Jesus’ hope and comfort and/or how people are still influenced by the Reformation, contact or visit one of these churches: St. Paul Lutheran Church (672-6731), Immanuel Lutheran Church (532-4342) or Trinity Lutheran Church, (934-2002).