The power outage might have kept me from church a few week ago, but since we were staying at my Mom’s and she lives only a few minutes from my church, it actually was easier for me to get to church on time than usual. Plus, church had electricity and air conditioning!
I volunteered to be a reader, and was asked to read this passage from the Book of Wisdom:
God did not make death,
And he does not delight in the death of the living.
For he created all things that they might exist;
The generative forces of the world are wholesome,
And there is no destructive poison in them,
and the dominion of Hades is not on earth.
For righteousness is immortal. ….
As I looked over the reading, my first reaction was one of disagreement.
Death is an essential part of life–at least, it is an essential part of our mortal life. The circle of life depends on death. At a very basic level, cancer happens when cells don’t die.
If our life on earth lasted forever, would we ever appreciate it?
While the untimely death of a child or loved one is painful, the death of someone older or sicker can be welcomed as a blessing, especially for those who believe in an after-life.
Our Gospel reading was from Mark 5: 21-43, and told the story of Jesus resurrecting the young daughter of Jairus, a leader of the temple. Reading these together, I think the Gospel story shows that God has power over death, and compassion for the pain that death can cause us, but I still don’t agree that “God did not make death.”