Remembering death in life

Published 7:49 pm Friday, April 19, 2019

Three friends went to see a fourth friend at the funeral home. While standing at his casket, they talked about what they’d want people to say about them in the same circumstance. One man said he’d like them to say he was a great husband and father. The second man said he’d like them to say he was a smart and successful businessman. And the third man wanted someone to say, “Hey! Look! I think he’s breathing!”

Life is, according to the dictionary, “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity and continual change preceding death.” In “country boy language,” as Terry Solana would put it, “Life is not being dead!”

“What is life” seems to be a rather simple question, but it’s much more complex than we first imagine. In fact, the Bible tells us, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” 

Are we talking about our mental life, our biological life, our spiritual life,  and/or our social life?

This is the 15th week in our “Absolute Basics of the Christian Faith” asking, “What is the world’s great hope?” 

And the answer is, “Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again to redeem all things and reign as King forever.” 

From Revelation 22: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

Jesus began and ended his life on earth with two impossibilities. He was born of a virgin and he rose from the dead. And between those two, he lived life to the fullest. 

He “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” He grew mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. He was well-rounded. The word in Navajo is “hozho,” meaning balance.

That balance is expressed in John 10:10 as something more than, “Life is… not being dead.” So the “world’s great hope” and the Biblical promise of Easter is “life more abundantly” in the King James Version, “life to the full” in the New International Version, “life in all its fullness” in the Good News Version and “a rich and satisfying life” in the New Living Translation. 

Easter is much more than an Easter bunny and a basket of Easter eggs or Easter candy or even an “Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it.” So ”the world’s great hope” and my prayer for all of you this Easter is “May you find ‘hozho,’ a rich and satisfying life!”