The old saying for pastors is “Always be ready to preach, pray, or die.”
Yesterday I went to the funeral home to visit a family in our church who had lost a sister to a sudden heart attack of some sort. She was 61 years old. On Sunday morning she got off her night shift as a nurse and went to her car. She drove only a few feet before it happened. Doctors worked on her until early afternoon but could not stop Death.
It was sudden. It was unexpected.
At the funeral home, I was asked if I would give a short message.
This too was sudden and unexpected, but obviously I agreed. Perhaps, sadly, I was more prepared than she was.
I had not thought about it at all until that moment, but I am always willing to help out wherever possible.
So I grabbed a Bible and spoke for about ten minutes about the confusion and questions that unexpected death often arouses. Life doesn’t seem to make sense when a 61 year old lady in seemingly good health with lots of great friends drops dead.
It is the sort of question addressed in Ecclesiastes where the Preacher tells us that there are a lot of questions and not very many answers about how to make sense of life in this world.
In the face of confusion, there has to be some way to find hope. That hope cannot be found in trying to make sense of the seemingly unexplainable.
I pointed us to Colossians 2 where we are told that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Christ is the only way to make sense of life in this world. He is the one who gives shape to the lives that we lead. He is the one who can give us hope in the midst of confusion.
That hope is found because Jesus lived, died, and rose again for us to save us and give us eternal life in heaven.
The life that he gives will last for longer than 61 years. And it won’t end on Sunday morning after work in a parking lot, or on an operating table.
The bad part of the occasion was that five or six people approached me afterward asking about where our church was an expressing some interest in attending.
And I did not have one card with information about our church on it.
But perhaps some people will consider Jesus because of it.