Death and Dying
Does this sound like a strange topic? Maybe, in your culture, death is not talked about very often. Death is not a very easy thing to talk about in many cultures, particularly in America. Is that true in your culture?
Have you seen the movie - “Saving Private Ryan”? In the movie, many people die in many different ways in World War II. The movie tries to show what war “feels” like. (It doesn’t feel good.) I felt like I was in the war myself. This type of movie is not entertainment for me - it’s not fun. But I’m glad I saw it. After the movie, I kept seeing the faces of dying men in my mind and I was sad about war. Do you avoid movies like this or like them? Why or why not?
The day after the movie, I went to a funeral. A man from my church died of liver disease. At a Christian funeral there is sadness - we miss the person who died. But, Christian funerals focus on happy things. We remember that a Christian who dies goes to heaven and is welcomed by Jesus. In heaven, all the questions are answered, the tears are gone. We see God clearly. This is a great thing for the one who died! At a Christian funeral we tell each other that the dead person is now very happy. We also talk about what we loved about the person who died and we are comforted by showing love to each other also. Usually a meal follows the funeral.
What are funerals like in your own culture? Are they both happy and sad? How do people in your culture deal with death?
Have you ever had to comfort someone who lost a friend or family member to death? How do you give comfort to someone when there is a death?
Do you think it’s important to think about death when you’re young or even at all? Do you view death as an ending or a beginning or both?
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” John 3:16
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
For the Christian, death is the end of earthly life, but also the beginning of eternal life with Jesus. That’s a good thing!
Do you know what boasting is? Do you know people who boast about themselves? Why do they boast? How does God’s way of saving people get rid of boasting?