Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Minister of Death

3 Memorial services in the last 10 days. The tempo of death has been strong over the past 2 weeks in my ministry life. I have been in the homes and with the families of three separate individuals who have died of various causes.
The interesting common denominator is those who were left holding the bag of death is; they all have interest, love, and memories of those who died. They are all left with the present reality of knowing the deceased person is not coming back to them. They all have a genuine knowledge and feeling of loss.
What has been pronounced in my ministry of death to those who have remained alive is an absolute need of something or someone that can provide comfort, clarity, and conviction in light of death. I have presently been humbled by the power of the Gospel. It has been the very real truth, life, and way for myself in ministry and to these folks.
I can say with assurance that there are many empty philosophies to cope with death, and over the last couple weeks I have heard many. However, what comes to defeat these bandaid coping skills is the power of the Gospel. Romans 1:16, says "for I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes."
The salvation is both a present reality in Christ on the Cross, who is victorious over the sin and death, as well as, the future reality that Christ is upon the throne who will be Lord beyond the grave. It has given me comfort to minister to those who are dealing with loss, and courage to preach the gospel in the memorial services that will remember the loved ones.
Even though death has come so much to my ministry these past two weeks, I am still gratefully encouraged that God has taken the sting of death in Jesus, and presented an opportunity to comfort others with the assurance of the Gospel.
As I write this I am weary of preparation and presentation. In the flesh I am weary; however walking in the Spirit of Jesus I am encouraged to stay available to the Gospel of Jesus in the ministry of death.