Death, where is your sting?
– I Corinthians 15:55
In a narcissistic society anything that reminds it of its limits is repressed. Death annihilates every human delusion of omnipotence. Death confronts us with our own mediocrity. By covering it up – making a circus of it – we dehumanize ourselves.
The death of Christ is at the heart of Christian faith. In this Christianity is not morbid, it is real. Death teaches us how to live.
Individual experience of death is directly related to the experience of the death of the people we love. Each death of those we love produces a death in us. Love gives life its meaning. We accept our own death to the extent that we love those who die. Today people die much more hygienically than ever in history…and much more alone.
Christians do not place their faith in heroes whose actions in the face of death create some sort of immortal story line; Christians place their faith in God who invites death to be a prayer.
For tho few who are faithful there is a life trajectory established that comes in numbering our days (Psalm 90:12). This trajectory is that of wholesale self-abandonment. Throwing the things that satisfy our egos to the wind. Death creates a crisis in our self-image like nothing else can. Death enjoins us to radically serve others and meet their needs.
Without embracing death Christians lead lives of mediocrity and self-centred arrogance and show no real sign of truly dying to one’s self and truly caring for another by meeting the other’s needs on their terms, not our own. And this pretty well describes the abysmal lack character and lack of action emanating from the lives of people across the board in churches today where everyone mimics the cultural line and is convinced that God blesses those who pick themselves up by their own bootstraps…and everyone fears losing their self-congratualtory financial status.
You turn us back to dust, saying, Turn back to dust…
– Psalm 90:3