One of the things which, as a minister, I constantly face is not simply death but the dumbing down of death. It is often thought of as simply a natural process where we pass off into something better. The famous idea of loved ones looking down on us is all too common but rarely thought out. Death is not as a poem says, “Nothing at all.” Rather it is a scandal, an intrusion and a sign that we are not right. Man was not created for death but life. The Gospel states that death is the result of unplugging from God and is so serious that only The Son of God could remedy it. It is only when we see death as a big problem that we will look for a big solution. It is a solution that cannot come from us but from the one who made us.
Christianity celebrates not only victory over death for the Son of God, but how all who trust him will also overcome it. Imagine life without taxes, life without struggles, life without pain and life without death. Some think it is only the dark parts of life that show the glory of the good bits.
They imagine there can be no life if there is no death, no love without hate, no health without illness. So If you are Christian and you are facing the final ordinance of our faith in this life, the funeral service, then you do not need to dumb death down. It has already been defeated for you by Christ. To be sure we still die in the world but we do then cease to exist. We simply, in the phrase of the Kirk, transfer our lines from the church on earth to the church in glory. We can gather not to deny the grave its reality, but to deny the grave it’s victory. “O death where is thy sting? O Grave where is thy victory?” The better option by far.