11.3.11

Death and Lent


Last month I performed my first wedding. Afterwards, I included that fact in the post "Many Joys", along with other things I have been blessed with. 

Last week I performed my first funeral.

Being inexperienced, I spent several hours over several days reading Psalms and scripture passages which are common at funerals, reading minister's manuals which include the sermons, thoughts, and prayers that have been used throughout the ages at funerals, and trying to pull together my own thoughts and put them down on paper. Weddings are much easier.

Then comes this week, which really began with Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Once again I am faced with death, for Lent is, after all, a season to remember the death we deserve. From dust to dust.

Psalm 39 seems an appropriate place to begin this Lenten season. 

 "Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath. "Selah" Man is a mere phantomas he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
- Psalm 39:4-7  


Numbering our days helps us to be wise, but it also reminds us of the great gift we have in Christ. This is the real reason behind remembering our death during lent, to ever more appreciate the death of Jesus for us. Because of Him, everything has changed. I found an excellent story that reflects this during my preparation for my first funeral:

A minister lost his wife at a young age, and was left behind with a daughter of six. He found his own grief hard enough to deal with, but the hardest part was comforting and explaining the death to his daughter. One day they were standing on the corner of a busy intersection. While they waited for the light to change a very large truck sped by, briefly blocking the sun and frightening the little girl.  Her father picked her up and suddenly he found a way to explain to his daughter: "When you saw the truck pass it scared you, but let me ask you, would you rather be struck by the truck or the shadow of the truck?" She replied, "The shadow, of course." He went on to say that "when your mother died, she was only hit by the shadow of death because Jesus was hit by the truck."
- source unknown

So, Lent begins, and death stalks the dark valley we walk through but the light of Christ shines ever brighter. 



4 comments:

kering said...

(like)

thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

Andrew said...

Thank you. I especially enjoyed how you 'liked' my post in your comment!

Another point for facebook in its continued journey to infiltrate every facet of our lives in order to bring back ever more profitable marketing data! J/k :)

kering said...

Hehehe, yes facebook- I'm trying my hand at disconnecting from social media... for the most part. Lenting facebook, twitter and youtube. But that doesn't mean I still can't (like) things on my own :P:P:P

Maryann said...

What a profound thought that I will only be hit by the "shadow" because Jesus has been hit by the"truck". God have mercy on my forgetful heart.