And now for lesson five - the hardest of all to wrap our heads around: ‘you are going to die’. We all know this but it is an intellectual thought posted right to the back of the brain. Some of us with life-limiting illnesses have faced this statement from time to time since diagnosis. However as a doctor put it on the radio this morning, as soon as the sperm has entered the egg it is on the journey to death.
Sometimes death comes very soon and parents mourn unborn children for ever. Sometimes it is at the hand of another, an accident on the road, or a murder. For some it comes in the middle years when an illness takes them. For others it comes in old age, but still people will say he or she was taken way too soon.
We want to keep on living for as long as possible, yet the people most in touch with life are often those who have faced up to their mortality. I liked this sentence from the reflection today – ‘Walking through one’s fear of the last thing becomes an encounter with the first thing.’ Richard Rhor
Certainly since my diagnosis I have appreciated some things a lot more and not taken number of years for granted. For instance I have been determined to enjoy each Christmas – it may or may not be my last.
The baptism waters are both waters of life and death, in immersion a person enacts ‘dying’ to their old life and arising out of the water to their new life in Christ.
That is what we believe the Resurrection is all about, a new life in Christ, part lived on earth and totally fulfilled in heaven.
And to end a few prayers I have read over the past few days:
Death is only a breath away.
So listen for God’s word
Be transformed by his hand.
Move to his rhythm and pray to him with all your heart.
Irish, from Celtic Parable Robert Van der Weyer
Deep peace of the green-blue sea,
Deep peace of the rising sun,
Deep peace of the shore-side Christ,
Deep peace of the Risen One be ours today.
Christ of the Easter morning,
Hope is one of your best gifts to us
So teach us to give it to others.
A prayer from Brazil
All the prayers are from Celtic Daily Light