A Christian View of Death

“Conflicted” is the word Liz used to describe her feelings this past week. Others in her ladies’ class this morning agreed. Should we celebrate a life well lived or grieve the loss of one we loved? Is it even possible to do both at the same time?

My objective this morning was to give people “permission” to grieve. Lamenting, it seems, is now often viewed as a lack of faith. May we all learn to grieve, but not to grieve like those who have no hope.

I was touched this morning when Ben became a bit emotional talking about our church. Emotions can be the window into one’s soul. It’s great to have a Shepherd who is moved when speaking about those who have served well. It was also good to have our newest Shepherd, Gilbert, give our homily before the Lord’s Supper. I know he had worked a long time to put all the images together to go with his thoughts. The NASA presentation had to be the most moving part of the entire service. To see how much those astronauts loved Paula Hall was touching.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


5 Responses to “A Christian View of Death”

  1. I have had to struggle with this. When I saw Paula on Thursday night the furthest thing from my mind was victory. I had to keep reminding myself that the resurrection is coming. I tell myself I should be joyous but I am not. I think about Keith and Emily and I hurt. I am angry over death. I am pretty sure God is angry over death. The curtain ripped in two for a reason. The earth quaked and 500 people rose from the grave for a reason. The earth turned dark for a reason. Jesus yelled out “My God, My God Why have you forsaken me !?” for a reason. I know it. I believe it. I just don’t feel it. We are not supposed to grieve like the rest of world. Is something wrong with me? Is my faith just to weak? Paul seemed so strong. I am envious of him. He seemed to be a solid rock of faith. 1 Corinthians 15 makes so much sense to me when a funeral is not on the agenda. Seeing this grief makes me upset. I want to cry out and ask when is enough, enough.

    But today you gave me a starting place. A place where I can hope and dream. I am afraid not of death but the anguish that I see in family and friends who are left behind. She will be missed. And maybe God can use this time to teach me. I hope so and pray so.

  2. avatar JAPierce says:

    I was pleased to see your sermon topic when I arrived at the building last Sunday. Too often preachers (whether by their choice or not) are restricted to the current series or latest preaching trend to hit the market to see and meet the needs of the congregation.

    I thought the sermon was well done and indeed appropriate. I will have to say, however, that the video at the end stole your thunder. It was one of the most moving moments I have been a part of in my life.

  3. avatar Byron says:

    I agree that the video was the most powerful part of the service! Who would have thought that 3 men in the space station, working hard not to float on camera, playing “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, would hold our congregation mesmerized. It could only happen as a tribute to Paula Hall. When they held up that sign with the M&M’s Paula had made special for them attached, I choked up a little.

  4. avatar chozengirl says:

    I think you did awsome Byron, preaching about someones passing is never easy, I have to say it was very hard for me, as well as all the others for any death brings back memories of our own experiances in a loved ones death.
    One thing I do know is that our loved ones are in a special place in heaven that Jesus has prepared for them. I know for me I am so ready when my time comes, I am not scared. I know what it is like in heaven, and it is most beautiful there, there is Eternal Life with Jesus and God with no sorrow, no pain, no hate,
    There is an abundance of Pure Love. I know when my Dear sweet Mother passed, I hurt cause I could not go with her, but I know God has me Left Behind for his purpose, I dont know what that purpose is but I just wait for my directions from God to lead me to the path for which he has set for me. Paula will be dearly missed by many, but I see Paula is a much more tranquil Life than we could ever imagine. Heaven is where my heart is and That is where I cant wait to be. Gods Will Be Done On Earth as it is In Heaven

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    I recently heard someone say that they were angry with God for not healing Paula after all the prayers over the past years that have gone up for her. Someone else replied, “But He did.” I never thought of it that way and it makes me feel a lot better. Yes, our beloved Paula has finally been healed.