Psalm 30; Hosea 13:4–14
Yesterday was the birthday of my stepfather. He passed away years ago. For whatever reason, this year his birthday hit me kind of hard. He and I had our good moments. We had our bad moments. Just like any parent-child relationship. I was his only child.
At his burial, the priest spoke about his baptism sealing him to Jesus Christ. This was spoken pastorally to people grieving. However, scripturally it has some weaknesses. His life, and to my knowledge, and beliefs were not of Jesus Christ.
On his death bed, my wife shared the Good News of Jesus Christ. He was in a “non-responsive” state. Yet, she felt a physical response to the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. Only in Heaven will I learn if the baptism was “sealing” as the priest said, or whether the physical response truly was an acceptance of Jesus. I can only hope and trust in God.
Why share the angst? “I cried to you for help, and you healed me.” In our pain and sorrow, God is there to “turn [our] lament in dancing”. Joy in Christ in the midst of the pains of life is the life we are called to.
In lament and pain, it is easy for our faith in God to be shaken, while at the same time relying more firmly on God will help us through the pain.
There are many kinds of loss. The verses of Hosea summarize loss. The people lost (walked away from) God. They had experienced blessing, then they lost it. The vision of loss sounds brutal. Think of it though from God’s anguished heart.
“…like a bear robbed of her cubs.” Have you seen a momma bear (or many human mothers) separated from their children, with the feeling that the kids are threatened? I’ve seen a recorded version of one and lived the other. Don’t be the one that separates momma from the cubs. Just don’t.
THAT’S GOD! Something is between momma (God) and the cubs (the children of God)! That is just not going to go well! It could be a kingdom that has the name Israel or Judah attached to it.
THAT is the concept of ransom and redemption. Death and Sheol are not going to be forgiven for taking away the Children of God. The exact mechanism (despite a whole lot of theologians arguing over it for centuries) is unknown. All we know is that heart of God wants to turn our lament into dancing and our sorrow into joy.
1) What’s do you think about dancing at the death of death?
2) As Christians, why does death still frighten us? If we truly believe that a fellow Christian is in Heaven, why do we grieve?
3) “Deathbed Conversions” will continue to decrease, as too many don’t know the basics of Jesus. How will you turn regular conversations into God conversations?
Father, thank you for redeeming us from death through the death and resurrection of your Son. May the Holy Spirit guide our hearts to speak the words of Christ to the world. Amen.