Sunday’s sermon deals with a subject that we all face: death. In John 11, Jesus shows up to Lazarus’s funeral and interacts differently with everyone present. He sugarcoats things for the disciples, talks theology with Martha, speaks words of reassurance to Mary, and weeps with the mourners around the tomb. Still, perhaps his most interesting interaction is with death itself, and that’s what we’ll be discussing Sunday. In the meantime, to help us think and pray over the issue of how we as Christians should respond to death, I want to offer up these classic words from John Donne published posthumously in 1633.
Grace and Peace,
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so:
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death; not yet canst thou kill me.
From Rest and Sleep, which but thy picture be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow;
And soonest our best men with thee do go–
Rest of their bones and souls’ delivery!
Thou’rt slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!