Death. A subject we would rather not think about. We know it is there, waiting for each of us, but it still isn’t something we like to think about. What happens when we die? That subject has haunted humanity since we were able to think, since we became self-aware and realized that this is our ultimate fate. This entire weekend is centered around death, around what happens to us when we die. Halloween, followed by All Saints Day, followed by today, All Souls Day. We remember those who have gone before us, honoring and asking for prayer from those who are with God, praying for those whose fate is, for us, uncertain. Indeed, we dedicate this entire month to remembrance of those gone before. We think about them, and we are forced to think about our own mortality. I must admit that I have spent a lot of this past year thinking about death. Nothing like being diagnosed with a life-threatening, incurable disease to get your attention. It compels you to think, to wonder and to pray. You hope to hear another word, survivor.
Survivor, one who has faced death and lived. Through the grace of God and the miracles of modern medicine, I can claim that title, survivor. My mortal life has been spared for now, but the ultimate question remains, what happens when this reprieve ends? Not just for me, but for all of us. What happens when our time finally runs out? By God’s grace we can all claim the title survivor. Jesus tells us in the Gospel reading that none of what God has given to Jesus will be lost. We, my sisters and brothers, have been given to Jesus, we belong to him and we will not be lost. Through our baptism in Christ we rise with Christ, We die with Christ, and conquer death with Christ. The risen Christ dies no more, death has no power over Christ. We have been given to Christ, we die with Christ, we rise with Christ, and death has no power over us. In Christ, we are survivors.
The Commemoration of All The Faithful Departed (All Souls Day)
Nov. 2, 2008