How Death Loses
In this episode of Christian Mythbusters, Father Jared breaks some of the myths we often believe about the inevitability of death—and how that influences how we live our lives, particularly during a pandemic. You can hear Christian Mythbusters in the Grand Haven area on 92.1 WGHN, on Wednesdays at 10:30am and Sundays at 8:50am. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Apple here.
The transcript of the episode is below, or you can listen to the audio at the bottom of the post.
This is Father Jared Cramer from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven, Michigan, here with today’s edition of Christian Mythbusters, a regular segment I offer to counter some common misconceptions about the Christian faith.
Well, here we are in Wednesday after the great celebrations of Easter, the feast of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I’m pleased to tell you that Easter is not over. In the church, Easter is such an important day that it is traditionally celebrated for a full 50 days50 days of celebration for the Easter season to follow the 40 days of penitence we had during Lent.
And yet with COVID-19 cases still rising, with our own state of Michigan taking the undesirable spot of first place in the country with regard to how bad the pandemic is here, and with people still dying every day to this disease, adding to the over half a million people we have lost, it can feel a little hard to celebrate.
But Easter teaches us an important gospel truth and that is that death simply will not win in the end and so this week I’d like to try to break some of the myths we often believe about the inevitability of death.
If your church follows the lectionary, you heard in the Gospel of Mark how all the disciples
failed Jesus by running away from him during his arrest, trial, and crucifixion. And in Mark’s gospel, even the generally faithful women disciples failed by not going out to share the good news that Jesus had risen but instead running home terrified at what was happening. My sermon on Easter Sunday this past week talked about how Mark tells the story this way to make it very clear to us that the resurrection is entirely the work of God, that it’s not something we bring about, that all of us will fail but the God will always bring life out of death, grace out of our failures.
And while that is indeed the glorious and grace filled Easter truth, the resurrection also compels us to think and act differently about death as Christians. In our church’s liturgy at a funeral mass, we talk about the reality that life is changed for Christians, not ended, by death. That doesn’t mean we don’t grieve. Even Jesus wept when Lazarus died, knowing he was going to raise him up from the dead in just a few minutes. Death can be horrible and painful. But as Christians we also believe it is never the end, that love will persist past death.
And though death will continue to be inevitable until our Lord returns to finally set the world fully aright, to heal it with God’s love, we shouldn’t run towards deathg. St. Paul himself recognized this in his writings when he would talk about the fact that even though he knows that when he dies he will go to be with our Lord, he also knows that while he is still here our Lord has worked for him to do.
And I hope you know that God has work for you to do, particularly right now. I can think of no better way to celebrate Easter then to start once more following the advice of scientists about how to ...