Discerning Mission

Earthly death = living proclamation?

by Christie Hallenbeck

“Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” The late Steve Jobs’s foreshadowing thoughts now permeate mainstream conversations of death.

So let’s enter the conversation.

In light of public shock over the death of this modern symbol of immortality, it is a missional conversation. With one of the top 10 movies in the United States following a twenty-something man in the face of mortality, it is a relevant conversation.

So let’s talk about death, motivated by God’s living Word. Let’s acknowledge death’s significance, its inevitability, its manifestations in global injustices and in broken hearts, relationships, and bodies.

But let’s expound on Jobs’s “invention” idea. Let’s define the “change agent” as the Holy Spirit and the “new” as life in Christ.

Let’s boldly proclaim the resurrection that is unique to our Christian faith. Let’s preach that “death is at work in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:12). Let’s sing that “love is strong as death” (Song of Solomon 8:6).

And let us praise God for that hope.

Where might we enter this conversation? But before we enter it, how might we humbly acknowledge our own fear of death?

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