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If I had to choose between my wife and my putter... well, I’d miss her.

Gary Player

Death

Blessed are those who die in the Lord. Revelation 14:13

Recently I have been thinking about death more than usual. The funeral of a former board member of Verite Sport and of a valuable supporter of our work took place just days apart this autumn. I am delighted to say that both faced death with a certainly that death was just the beginning of being forever with the Lord.

We often struggle with death, balancing human emotions with spiritual beliefs. The Apostle Paul understood the dilemma when he wrote to the Thessalonians: “you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Note that Paul did not say “You are Christians so no need to grieve”. He recognized that grief is part of the human experience. Both people I referred to above died far too young and the family’s grief was real. BUT they did not grieve without hope!

Their hope and ours is in Jesus who outrageously said (John 11:25): “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”

I remember a 2017 World Athletics Championship gold medallist who dedicated her win to her late grandfather, for whom she grieved but not without hope! A fitting tribute.

Often when someone dies you read “Rest in Peace”. I have always struggled with that phrase, which seems to be a vague and perhaps unfounded hope. This month someone announced the death of a relative on Twitter with the words: “May he rest in peace and rise in glory”. I loved that. The additional 4 words made all the difference.

That is the Christian hope, the Christian certainty, that we rest in peace and rise in glory, because Jesus has conquered death.

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