Valley City Times-Record

Death, the uncomfortable topic

Pastor Jordan Uhlhorn, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Valley City

Am I allowed to discuss this uncomfortable topic? If you’ve chosen to read this article, chances are you are fine with me forging ahead. You may be accustomed to those in the ministry talking openly this way or perhaps you have some faithful friends who are able to articulate important truths concerning death without fear of disturbing the peace. The reason I am choosing to write about death is because I have seen its effects around the communities I serve more frequently as of late.

Therefore, I want to share this incredible encouragement from the Lord in his Word that enables us to overcome what is clearly one of the most common fears for our human race.

Watch as God works through the prophet Isaiah to detail some beautiful actions that the Lord does for us as well as how we respond to his grace.

“On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that covers all peoples, the burial cloth stretched over all nations. He has swallowed up death forever! The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face. He will take away the shame of his people throughout the earth. For the Lord has spoken. On that day it will be said, “Look, here is our God! We waited for him, and he saved us! This is the Lord! We waited for him. Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation!” (Isaiah 25:79)

Death was around in full force during Isaiah’s time. That fact probably comes as no surprise to readers who are familiar with death’s presence in this day and age. Doesn’t that description “the shroud that covers all peoples, the burial cloth stretched over all nations” resonate with you? Even if we are uneasy when talking or hearing about death, we simply cannot avoid the subject. It’s such a common experience.

God doesn’t avoid the subject either. He knows that death disrupts his creation and the harmonious relationship we were created to have with him. He knows and tells us that it is because of sin – our rebellion against what is right and our lack of holiness that is necessary – that we die.

This is why it is always amazing to me (and every Christian) that God intervened so that we would not suffer under the crushing weight of death. He sent his Son, Jesus, to take away death’s sting and victory by defeating it on the cross and declaring victory over the grave by his resurrection! When we realize death cannot hold Jesus down, we know and are comforted that death has no hope of holding down anyone who trusts in him, who are fully forgiven and freed in his name.

As Isaiah so proudly professed, God will indeed wipe away all tears and ensure we have no shame in his presence. Treasure this good news in your heart and rejoice with me in the salvation God has won for us!

Using the words of the popular hymn In Christ Alone we can boldly shout this as our status, “No guilt in life, no fear in death; this is the power of Christ in me.”





Alberta Newspaper Group