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Celebrating Life

spring

Yesterday I attended a memorial service to celebrate the life of a young man from our church. He was only twenty-eight years old when he passed away. I didn’t know him well, but his parents and brother are in our small group, so we are very close with his family. Watching his mom cry over the casket as she said goodbye for the last time was one of the most heartbreaking experiences.

And this is not the only person I know going through this. As you know if you’ve been following me for awhile, my father-in-law passed away last New Year’s. His birthday was a few days ago, so it brought up some intense memories for my mother-in-law. And it seems like over the last couple weeks, I’ve seen a wave of death via social media. One friend’s husband of fifty-nine years is going into hospice and they don’t expect him to live more than a few days. Another friend lost an elderly neighbor she was close to. Someone’s mother who recently had some debilitating health issues has stopped eating and has given up trying to fight. Someone was killed in a car accident. Fathers, brothers, sisters, moms, friends–I’ve seen more reports of losing a loved one in the last few weeks than I remember ever seeing all at once before. It is tragic and heartbreaking to live in a world where death is a part of life.

One of the things my pastor pointed out at yesterday’s service, was that God is the author of life, not just this life, but the life to come. If we trust in Him, though we grieve for the ones we lost, we have hope that this is not the end. Hope, not in the sense of wishing it might be so, but biblical hope, which means an eager expectation. We’re not wishful thinking to expect to see our loved ones again, we’re anticipating it with the assurance that if they have trusted Christ, it will happen.

Even so, we grieve when we lose someone here on earth. It is good and appropriate to do so. It hurts to lose someone, even if we know this is not the end. It is painful to experience this kind of loss. So, grieve. Feel. Experience. But remember, God is the author of life. Not just the life to come, but this life. Jesus came that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly. Death is not the end, but neither is it the pinnacle of achievement. There is much to do with the life we have been given. Embrace it. Celebrate it. Share it with those around you. Live it.

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About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

One comment on “Celebrating Life

  1. I am sorry you have had so much death to face over such a short time. I too have as well. But mostly it is the living that ask me to see them as dead. But grief is grief and loss is loss either way. In our church and I am not wanting to be “religious,” it is simply that until several years ago, I grew up in mainstream churches where the idea that when we died, we either went to Heaven or Hell based on how we lived our life.It never made sense that if people who came long before many never had opportunity to understand the truth, God’s truth why would they be punished by going to hell and burning forever? That is not the God I believed in. And then I was led to a church who’s only desire was to share God’s truth. What the test command was, was the I read from scripture that in ” six days God created the earth, and on the seventh day, He rested.” That the seventh day was a holy convocation that He was Lord of the sabbath. Why do I bring this up?
    Because the idea that man either went to heaven or hell never came from scripture. There are historical records proving that these were philosophies were created by man. Not ever taught by Christ There are three resurrections discussed in the Bible.Those you have grieved over as I have grieved over and still do, are simply in the grave. Asleep. And as John 3:13 says that no man has ascended to heaven except the one who descended Christ. No one is in heaven or hell right now. The time for all who have not been called presently as scripture speaks of, is future. All those you have lost, I have lost or others have lost will have their opportunity to learn the truth and accept or reject that. And based on that decision will decide their fate in the final resurrection to eternal life or the lake of fire. And even then, they will not burn forever, and along with then Satan and the demons. I use to feel sad for those I lost too. Sad that maybe they never made it. Sad that I’d never see them again. But then truth came and along with John Wheeler who researches and writes for our church. He has taught me and others a lot. I guess I am trying in some way to be consoling.But you have not really lost anyone. They are simply asleep in the grave waiting for the second resurrection if they were not of the first resurrection. You will see them again. And God promises all will know the Truth His Truth.
    I hope you can find peace
    yisraela

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