Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges.
The daily challenges are meant to help us explore what it means to follow Jesus, even in the midst of a busy commuting lifestyle. We have a rhythm that we follow each week to help us explore our topic. We introduce the idea on Monday, then Tuesday’s we study it in the Bible. Wednesday’s we try to let the Bible’s teaching sink in, and change and transform our thinking. Thursday’s we try to act out what we’ve been learning. Friday’s a day for prayer and reflection, and then Saturday’s a day for rest.
Sunday is a day for community, because even when we are scattered and busy, it is important that we come together as one community to explore Jesus and what it means to follow him in one place.
We’re in the middle of a series right now called Reset, where we look at how following Jesus resets our thinking about various topics in life. Most have been topics we think about daily, but today we look at how Jesus resets death.
Our culture doesn’t like to talk about death, but it’s what we’ll do today. It’s more important than you might think. George Bernard Shaw once pointed out, 1 out of every 1 people die. This topic is guaranteed to impact your life! CS Lewis pointed out in WWII, war does not increase death rates, death is total in every generation.
Yet, our generation and culture would rather avoid even talking about it, as if that means we can avoid death itself. Add to that our Botox for wrinkles, all our other potions and lotions to stop aging, and you have the picture of a culture that avoids death itself until the last possible moment.
At many funerals, you’ll find people avoid saying anyone died. One Christian minister I know was asked to do a non-Christian service, with the funeral director specifying that the family wants to “write it themselves, without any interference or argument from the priest.”) I can only imagine what the family was hoping to avoid.
One of the words in the funeral service I almost say most carefully is that the person (by name) “has died”. Sometimes it feels like I’m the first one to say it, when everyone else is saying “passed on”, “lost”, and even saying “loved one” instead of the person’s name name.
I do that because for those who follow Jesus, death isn’t something to fear so much we pretend it doesn’t happen. It’s not something to keep quiet, but something to acknowledge as having limited power in our lives. I think people need to hear that.
One US study asked Americans if they wanted to read the Bible, and if they did, what they’d like to learn. The largest single topic of interest was that 28% of adults want wisdom from the bible on death and illness, and a surprising 33% of young adults wanted the same. They want to hear how there is hope leading up to, in and after death.
That’s what we’ll do this week. The world keeps saying to fear, avoid, delay, ignore death. Jesus says, it’s okay, you’ll survive if you follow me.
Question: How do you approach death? Is it something to fear, embrace, or somewhere else on the spectrum?