They asked Jesus, ‘Were we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon in you?’ ‘I have no demon’, Jesus answered. ‘I honour my Father, but you dishonour me. I am not seeking honour for myself. But there is one who is seeking it and who judges in my favour. I am telling you the truth: whoever obeys my teaching will never die.’ (verses 48-59)
Read John 8:47-59
I remember clearly those precious seconds of solitude before the mourners poured down the church steps to swallow us in their grief. Silently I watched the pallbearers pushing Mum’s coffin into the hearse. And then, on angels’ wings came the most unexpected surprise – joy. Pure, unbridled, out-of-this-world, heavenly joy. With it came a divine whisper, ‘Why are you looking at that box? She’s not there – she’s alive!’
In a very real sense my mother never died. Certainly the body she lived in is gone. But her spirit – that part of her that loved me, giggled and laughed with me, wept for me – lives on forever.
One day the mourners will farewell your body too. But by then you will have passed through the hiccup of death from life to life. Even as your obituary is read you might already be selecting the décor for your new home that Jesus has prepared for you. (By the way, if you can’t decide on colours, just find my mum – she’s good at that sort of thing.)
Lord Jesus, you are indeed Lord of life. Thank you for the battle you won over death. Thank you that you have won for me a home with you in heaven. Amen.
by Linda Macqueen, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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