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In Times Like These

Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Key Verses: 1 Thessalonians: 13-14,16 (NRSV)

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

We wrestle with the unwavering untimely reality of death. Modern science and custom have moved death from the home to the hospice and the hospital. We are making it easier to push the naturalness of death aside. What we do know is that death, which is a part of life, also breaks the cycle of life, whether for a 4-month-old infant, a 16-year-old teenager, or a 96-year-old man. Death takes place in life. Life contains life and death.

Surely in times like these of food insecurity, health, and racism pandemics, we need a Savior. We need not grieve as those who have no hope. Though the virus is persistently invasive, the United States' death rate is disproportionate to the level of science and medicine in this advanced Western nation. In the United States, our behavior of denial has greatly exaggerated the pandemics. Sadly in the United States, over 500,000 precious persons have died. While in Africa’s 54 countries, home to four times the U.S. population, they have registered 100,000 Covid-19 deaths. (Feb. 2021) This is not a new story of death and dying.

We can get angry with God, but God may say, “My name is Elohim (the Creator God). I didn’t intend this cycle of death. Talk to Adam and Eve.” I told them, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it, you will certainly die.” Being hardheaded, they did, and surely the interrupter, death, has come. But a wise sage named Luke tells us that everyone dies, even Jesus. Pay attention to the rest of the story. On the third day, Jesus got up victorious over death, and Satan. Jesus offers eternal life to all who believe and confess Him as the Messiah, Son of the living God.

Thought: In times like these you need a Savior,

In times like these you need an anchor;

Be very sure, be very sure,

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus. Yes He's the One,

This Rock is Jesus, the only One;

Be very sure, be very sure,

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible,

In times like these, O be not idle;

Be very sure, be very sure,

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Composer: Ruth Caye Jones

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