Daily Devotion Nov 17, 2023

Today’s Focus: Gratitude for a promise
“God has raised the Lord and will raise us through his power” (1 Corinthians 6:14, CEB).
     Death is a topic no one enjoys talking about. According to home security agent Rob Gabriele, the death of a loved one is the greatest fear for most Americans in 2023. The problem we face is that death is an unavoidable reality.
     Later this afternoon, I will be officiating the funeral of a man I did not know. From everything I am told, he lived a good life. He was good to his family, as well as his neighbors. He will be missed.
     But here’s the thing. He won’t be missed forever. This gentleman was baptized into the family of faith as a child. And, as the saying goes: Once a family member, always a family member. While on earth, he lived as a member in the household of faith. Now in death, he lives as a member of the Father’s house in heaven.
     Paul claimed that when Christ died, we died a spiritual death with him. Likewise, just as Jesus was raised to new life, so too will we be raised into eternal life. This is a significant claim for the Christian community.
     When someone you love dies, Jesus promises that your separation from that person will be temporary. The Good News is that though the two of you have parted, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ will you one day also be reunited.
     When I officiate the celebration of life for one who has died, I often tell the following story. The wife of my dear friend, Leonard Mann, died several years ago from pancreatic cancer. During the calling hours, I listened as a member of the church I once served offered Leonard her consolations by saying, “Oh, Leonard, I am so sorry for your loss.” In response, Leonard replied, “Oh, my dear, you are quite mistaken. Esther is not lost. I know where to find her when the time comes.”

     This same hope holds true for you. You will know where to find your loved one when the time comes. That’s a promise for which you can be eternally grateful.