Speaking of Life 5034 | Death is Short
The older I get the more I can relate to the statement, “Life is short!” It seems it was just yesterday I was a child in my parents’ home. Now if there is a child in my home, it is probably one of our grandchildren. Amazing!
It’s a sobering point of reflection to know that most likely, I have fewer days to live ahead of me than the ones I lived behind me. Yes, life is short.
However, for an episode of “Speaking of Life,” this is starting to sound a bit morbid. So, in thinking of the phrase “Life is short” from a Christian perspective, maybe we should change it to say, “Death is short.” After all, that is more accurate to our situation and our theology. As soon as we are conceived in the womb, we begin our inevitable march to the tomb. And, compared to the eternal life waiting for us beyond that point, it is a short march whether it be one year or a hundred years.
This is the biblical way to look at our present time when the clock and calendar seem to speed up. We don’t have to live frantic and fearful lives as if life is short. We can live each day fully in the peace and hope that comes to us in God’s word of resurrection life. That Word has come to us in the life and death of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus who took upon himself our march of death from the womb to the tomb and gave death a proper burial in the end. Death no longer has the final word on our lives, God’s word to us in Jesus does.
On that basis, we can live each day, no matter how dark the shadow of death may appear, trusting and being renewed to joyful life by God’s faithful word to us. Here is a portion of Psalm 119 that pictures this orientation in our short march on this side of the grave.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to observe your righteous ordinances.
I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your ordinances.
I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
Your decrees are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutes
forever, to the end.”
Psalm 119:105-112 (NRSV)
He does give us life – he gives us eternal life. It is in this life that his decrees and statutes give us joy – forever. Thanks to God’s grace, the older I get, the more I realize, “death is short,” and eternity with Christ is forever.
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life.