Today we are going to talk about death (a very sad and difficult subject, certainly, but which in Jesus takes on a whole new dimension). A theme obviously inspired by All Saints' Day and the Day of the Dead, which took place on November 1 and 2.
As the American pastor points out Timothy Keller in his book “Thoughts on Death and Grieving” (which I was telling you about a short time ago), we live in a culture that does its best to hide and deny death. This “Great Interruption which snatches loved ones from us or snatches us from them” has become less familiar and, in fact, more disturbing in our society.
The medicalization of the end of life, our society's obsession with youth, deaths that take place far from our eyes in hospitals and retirement homes... impact our relationship to old age and death.
According to Timothy Keller, we are even “less well prepared to die than any other people in history”. And yet, no one can avoid it (indeed, despite the dreams of immortality cherished by some, our end on this earth is inevitable!).
For Christians, death is "only" the passage to eternal life. If this does not allow us to escape the sadness that accompanies the loss of our loved ones or even to fear our own death, this biblical principle nevertheless radically changes our relationship to the "grim reaper".
Tradition has it that believers and non-believers alike go to the cemetery on November 1 to lay flowers on the graves of their deceased and celebrate their memory. This “pilgrimage” is also a way of contemplating death and of reconciling ourselves with this passage to another life, a life with Jesus.
“The future of those who die in Christ is a world of infinite love,” writes Pastor Keller in his book.
Indeed, our future and our hope are in Jesus and we have the assurance that "neither death nor life, neither angels nor dominions, neither things present nor things to come, neither powers nor height , neither the depth nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God manifested in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39)!
At the time of the debates on the end of life and a few days after Halloween (famous "celebration of death" decried by many Christians), let us keep these verses in memory and celebrate this hope given in Christ, he who conquered death for us.
Camille Westphal Perrier