We have all heard the phrase “the only two things in life that are guaranteed are death and taxes.” Interesting that this week brings those two things together for me. Tuesday was the deadline to file your federal and state taxes (I hope that is not news to you)! A reminder each year of the joy and curses of living in a free society with elected officials who are tasked with governance. AND since this is a spiritual blog rather than a political blog I think that is enough said.
So death…tonight I am officiating at a funeral for the grandmother of one of our members. Although I did not have the pleasure of knowing this woman on a deeper level, her story is filled with love and beauty and I can’t wait to celebrate that with her family and friends. On a personal note – it is a special privilege to be invited in for that moment of reflecting on a life so well lived and loved – I am honored. I also have another funeral this week – Sunday afternoon. I will not be officiating – that task will fall to my colleague Rev. Jim Preisig in Lee’s Summit. We are gathering to commemorate the life of a very dear friend and former teammate – Lori Webster. She passed away before her prime time years and while she accomplished great things for God’s glory, there are personal and family things she will also miss. So it will be a day of joy and tears for all of us and especially for her family.
Death and taxes – the two of them got me to thinking – if I had a choice to eliminate either death or taxes, which would I choose? I would choose taxes. I would eliminate taxes before I would eliminate death. Now you might think that to be an odd choice but let me give you a quick explanation of why. Frankly, this world is broken- severely broken and the only solace and peace any one of us will ever achieve is in the eternal presence of God. If we lived forever in brokenness, we would miss out on the opportunity to experience God’s rest. Some sociologist think that we can be better than this and given enough time we will overcome our predication to wage war, compete for resources, and segregate ourselves by class, gender, race, and status. Personally, I am not that optimistic. We have 6,000+ years of recorded history that verifies our inability to grow beyond our sin and brokenness. That is why I believe in the resurrection! God has the power to achieve something greater – God has the power to overcome our brokenness and God promises us life eternal. So actually I can’t choose to eliminate death anyway because God is working toward that objective himself! These are my thoughts on the matter and I’m sticking with them.
“Food for thought” as the saying goes. Thanks for taking a moment to read this week’s edition and please feel free to leave comments! Blessings for the journey.