March 4, 2022

Regarding End-of-Life Conversations…

I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me. (John 14:30, NLT)

My husband and I were having a discussion about the necessity of “end-of-life” conversations. Not because we are sick or feeling we are not going to be around much long but reflecting on how we or others have handled or initiated these kinds of conversations in the past. Because he is a parish pastor, and in congregational life as well as family life, death is a natural occurrence and it’s not out of the ordinary for us to discuss this topic. We have determined not to be those who shy away from these conversations with our loved ones, but welcome and see them as both necessary and a healthy way to embrace what is inevitable for every living person, and for those who belong to the Lord there is everything to look forward to. Earthly death is not the end, but only the beginning of life.

Jesus often had these kinds of talks with his disciples, especially as he drew closer to going to the cross to die for the sins of mankind. He did not shy away from “end-of-life” conversations. He wanted them to know—even if they could not fully grasp at that moment—what was ahead of him and them; there was suffering, but there was also glory.

Like Jesus knew, and we can know, one day he would not be with them anymore. Would they know what to do after he was gone? Would they remember their mission which could not stop just because he was gone? He needed to share  important information they would need. He wanted them to be comfortable discussing those matters which are a natural part of life, but just like us some of us, not all his disciples wanted to listen or talk about these things.

We don’t have to be uncomfortable with the subject of death, or hesitant to talk about it with those who are leaving us soon, or whom we are leaving. For the believer death is not the end, but the necessary portal to that blessed, blissful eternity we all want to enjoy, eventually, when the time comes and for those who don’t yet have a personal relationship with Christ it’s the opportune time to help them know him while there is still time. Let’s Pray

Sometimes we run from the subject of death, Lord, and we definitely don’t want to discuss it with others, but death is a natural part of life; it’s necessary in order to live eternally with you. Help us to feel more comfortable with this topic and to have these conversations with others when the time is right, before its too late. Amen

Reflective Questions for Self and Soul-Tending:

How comfortable are you with the subject of death? Comfortable enough to talk with others about end-of-life matters?

How will you incorporate today’s message into your plan of self and soul-care?                

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