Just Sleeping

Saint Paul talks about dying daily, and yet every day I find I would rather wallow in self-pity. This whole immortality thing he’s talking about in Corinthians sounds great, but the dying part is hard, really hard. Christian faith is built upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that in the end it is life, not death, which will reign victorious.

“…but some have fallen asleep.” What a polite little euphemism Paul uses, but what did Christ say? “She is not dead, but sleeping.” How insensitive of Jesus to spout a bunch of religion at this grieving family in their moment of loss, except, with Him, though she was dead, yet she would live. The grieving had to die, the mourners were told to go away, and in their stead Christ brought about rejoicing.

This poor behavior, this apparent ignorance of correct funeral etiquette, Christ seems to have spread to his disciples. Peter ruins a perfectly lovely funeral. He’s invited to attend, and when he gets there he sends out all the weeping widows this dead woman—Tabitha, also known as Dorcas—had shown charity to. They try to remember the gifts the departed Dorcas had made for them, but this disreputable Peter doesn’t have any time for bemoaning the loss of such a good woman. Instead he prays, and calls her from death to life.

Continue reading: Just Sleeping

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