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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday 2011

The 23rd Psalm says “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death….”  That’s right, I walk now (not in some distant future) within the shadow of death.  Perhaps, man is the only organism that can contemplate his own death: “As for man, his days are like grass,/he flourishes like a flower of the field;/the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more” Psalm 103:15-16.  In my everyday life, I don’t think about death very much.  Usually, I resemble my dog Stanley who was vitally alive, and as far as I know did not foresee death coming.  I really don’t think I am repressing worry and sorrow over death.  It’s just that life is so full; there is no time to mope about some unidentified future moment when I will breathe my last.  It’s kind of like living in Florida.  I know that someday our town could be devastated by a hurricane.  But most of the time, I don’t think about it much—until there’s a disturbance in the Gulf accompanied by endless updates on the news or some natural catastrophe reported on elsewhere.  Therefore I can’t say definitely that my belief in life after death has much impact on me day to day.  Yet, I do believe in participating today in the long-run and identifying with it by acting as much as possible in accordance with eternal principles—seeking to conform to the algorithms and disciplines of love.  I view this practice as being a witness for Christ.  For me, this is how I overcome death day by day.  I leave the future last breath to the future.

Easter Sunday brings hope that death is not the end for individuals.  To the extent that this hope cast a countervailing light over the shadow of death, I accede to its efficaciousness especially on the occasion of funerals.  But the greater comfort for me is to know that (in my own family’s case) my mother and dad lived as if life were eternal throughout their lives.  This lifelong practicum of faith provided credible momentum that made their continued existence after physical death into spiritual eternity personal and seamless.  Their faith in Jesus Christ played an inherent part in their lives.  Was Christ’s resurrection the ultimate impress of their eternal nature?  As Yeats once wrote: “How can we know the dancer from the dance?”

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