1 Cor. 15:51-58
Trying to explain difficult things.
When there’s the death of a loved one, a neighbor, a teacher, or a friend, it’s difficult to answer the questions that children might ask. Children don’t have a long list of experiences in life to draw from when trying to think about such things. The words we might share with an adult at such a time is difficult enough. Those same words would make little or no sense to a child. Then again, when tragedy happens, do any of us have life experiences to draw from that might help us understand or get thru the difficult times?
There have been many times when I have felt like I didn’t have the words to help others thru difficult times. As I just wrote those words, I’m reminded how thankful I am that I don’t have the full gamut of experiences from which to draw. That would be too much for any one person. I’m also reminded that I don’t have, and I dont have to have all the answers.
When a child asks why a pet has died or whether or not the dead pet will wake up, we look for words to explain what has happened. We know that the child might know about a person moving away and maybe there would be a visit with that person in the future. We also know that death is not like that. We know that when we say that the animal or person is now with God in heaven, the child may ask where heaven is as if it were a place they could go to or visit on vacation. As little Hailee (maybe two or three years of age at the time) said after the second or third person died in her little world, “Why does God get all the good ones?”
My field education in ministry taught me that we don’t know all the answers. To believe we do have all the answers is just plain foolish.
God does give us experiences that help us gain glimpses into a bigger picture. We explain things to the best of our ability. It’s okay to not know answers to every single thing in life. It’s okay to just say, “I don’t know, but I do know that we I just place this in God’s care.”
15:51 But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. 52 You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. 53 In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. 54 Then the saying will come true: Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
55 Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?
56 It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. 57 But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!
58 With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.
Paul is trying to explain what happens at the resurrection. The main question is, “How are the dead raised?” Paul is trying to answer this question in the text we have today.
Paul says that the new body we will have is different from the physical kind of body we have on earth. The new body will be a spiritual body and will be eternal.
When has a child asked you a question that made you stop and think about the way you would answer? Why did you take the time to think about what you were going to say? Did you ever have someone ask you how you knew you were in love? What questions do you still have about heaven and how we will be after death? Have a Day!
In Conversation with a child: Ask a child to tell you what things help them feel at home
Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson
Remember in Prayer: Frank, Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Matt & Megan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen
And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall
Prayer: We love you, O God, and we thank you so much for your love. We thank you for your provision. We thank you for the gift of eternal life. Help us to hand over those things to you that are too difficult for us to understand. Amen
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© 2014 Lucia Oerter
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The Message Bible – contemporary translation
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