From Michael Spencer- a dying man:
“The ultimate apologetic is to a dying man.
That is what all those “Where is God?” statements in the Psalms are all about. They are, at least partially, invitations to Christians to speak up for the dying.
All the affirmations to God as creator and designer are fine, but it is as the God of the dying that the Christian has a testimony to give that absolutely no one else can give.
We need to remember that each day dying people are waiting for the word of death and RESURRECTION.
There are a lot of different kinds of Good News, but there is little good news in “My argument scored more points than you argument.” But the news that “Christ is risen!” really is Good News for one kind of person: The person who is dying.
If Christianity is not a dying word to dying men, it is not the message of the Bible that gives hope now.
What is your apologetic? Make it the full and complete announcement of the Life Giving news about Jesus.”
As usual Michael has put words to things I knew to be true, but which hadn’t quite bubbled to the surface.
I struggle with fear- especially regarding those I love. I always have.
No doubt part of it is that I’m a fearful person, but the lion’s share has to do with the fact that I can see. The platitudes that are tossed about among Christians bring little consolation. I’m aware of too much history- too much of the biblical story- to be reassured by any statement that begins with an implied “God won’t allow….”
He has allowed.
Holier people than I’ve ever met have been torn apart at the hands of God’s enemies. Little children who’ve trusted the reassuring extended hand of an evil they couldn’t have understood have died alone, in torment and terror.
My parents are finally old- not approaching, not soon to be. They are nearing the end of the statistical measure. Young and inspiring people who I’ve hoped to one day meet are dying far short of the average allotment.
Days recently spent in surgery waiting rooms remind me that the best we can hope for loving wives and precious children is to put off the inevitable for a short time.
Every beautiful and young star and starlet in the black and white movies we enjoy as a family are dead. Their dreams (once as hopefully passionate as any we’ve known) are silent. The flesh is cold or worse.
Holy Saturday has drawn to a close- though the parking lot of Wal-Mart is still packed with people who are shopping for tomorrow’s celebration.
Growing up in the church I never understood those who talked as if Easter trumped Christmas. Theoretically I understood. Christmas was to the end of Easter, but really, who would prefer Easter to Christmas?
But the reality of life’s fragility has helped me see.
The sun has set. Christ lies cold in the grasp of death, but sometime tonight the world will change.
Sometime tonight I’ll get my mother and father back. Sometime tonight the hands of my
wife and children will warmly reach for mine- though dead for untold centuries.
There is never enough time with those you love. Sometime tonight that ceases to be a problem. This doesn’t require time to explain properly. The goodness of the morning doesn’t require a theoretical background to understand. It is obvious.
Tonight we get back those we love. To a dying man who loves those who are dying… that is precious news.
Christ is Risen! Alleluia!