Spiritually Speaking… Life, Death & Life Again; Bank It

In the lives of all Christians, there is an inextricable link between faith and death. Death, in this regard, holds a particularly special place. Understandably, one must die to this world and be reborn spiritually to the next. As Christians, we accept the reality that Jesus actually overcame death. He died physically on the cross and rose again in order for us to access eternal life as a true gift of the Father. You see, this whole life, death, life thing can be confusing and, at times, certainly overwhelming, which is where faith comes in. Real faith requires an understanding that should affect your and my behavior. Life and death are part of a process, elements essential to spiritual eternity. For those without faith, the concept can seem a bit implausible. For those of us who claim faith in the reality of Jesus Christ, our facts are sometimes based, not on what we see, touch and understand. To the believer, life exists on many different levels. Death, by itself, is neither the end nor the beginning of anything. Life and death are the continuation of an existence that has always been here. Our living is, shall we say, a temporary form of eternal life. Faith, which comes upon each and every one of us at different times and in different ways, demands an intellectual, as well as a spiritual enlightenment, a leap of faith. If you believe in electricity, you believe when you turn a light switch on in the room you’re in, it will become illuminated. You act accordingly. If you don’t believe in electricity, light switches and light bulbs have a very different meaning for you. If you believe in Jesus Christ, your view of death is totally different from someone who doesn’t. That belief doesn’t make the transition from the physical realm any easier because death is still an unknown adventure. I bring this up because I am now at an age where I’m as likely to hear about the death of someone younger than me as I am someone older. I must say it has given me pause to ponder my own mortality in the face of my faith, which should be embracing my own mortality. We’re supposed to walk by faith and not by sight; to do so demands that we accept a perspective which acknowledges a ‘yet to be’ experienced consciousness that is the foundation of the life and death and life of Jesus Christ. The specter of my death cannot deter me from meeting each day, each person, each situation and circumstance anew and refreshed with the opportunity to experience my life again and again. I must continue my journey anew each and every day. I must accept my faith anew each and every day. What we go through everyday, including the pain and suffering as well as the joy and happiness is essential to the eternal cycle of life. Through faith, Christians believe all things are possible because God is certainly capable of accomplishing anything. That includes overcoming death. That includes our own immortality with Him. Hence, death is God’s business, as is life. Faith allows us to put it all in His hands. Therefore, my own death like those of my loved ones is but one step closer to God. In many cultures, worldly death is looked upon as a cause for celebration. This is, or certainly should be, the same with Christians. “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you the devil will put some of you in prison to test you and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt at all by the second death.” Revelation 2:10-11. May God bless and keep you always.

James, jaws@dallasweekly.com