Common to our experience, it is presumed that one dies when his body breaks down with some disease and can no longer function. I say that should not be so! Christians should not die or be translated to heaven because of the failure of their health, they should die because God said, “it’s your time.”
Recently at a church service the conversation about death was discussed. Reference to Enoch was mentioned, but scoffed at as an example of modern day life. Genesis 5:24 says, “Hanokh (Enoch) walked with God, and then he wasn’t there, because God took him. CJB” Why is this idea so preposterous?
During the time of the Celtic Church, the time of death was often revealed by God beforehand. In Kathie Walters’ book, Celtic Flames, she states, “these early saints had such a rapport with God about their death, which they called their ‘invitation’.” Columba (521-597), Bishop of Iona had an encounter with the Lord who told him he had four more years to serve. When that time came, it was the time of the Festival of Easter, so Columba asked for more time until the festivities were over. The Lord revealed the exact time, so he communicated this to his closest servants. (p.33) The attitude of death in the Celtic Church was a healthy one. There was not talk of sickness as a reason to leave the earth.
How we look at death is how we look at life. If we expect to “get old” and die, then we will just roll with it when it happens. But if we expect to increase in wisdom in all things including health, then when we get sick, introspection will ensue. Why am I sick? What is going on internally with my thoughts and emotions? What has been going on with my spirit? All physical illnesses have a source that is higher than the germs that present themselves. This gives us the power to repent and change course. Not all mis-takes need to end in death.
One morning I woke up and the word, “resurrection” rang out in my thoughts. It seemed the very action on waking up in the morning was a type of resurrection. Ironically per Jewish thought, God restores one’s soul each morning. Jewish children are taught a prayer that acknowledges God’s omnipotence and thanks Him for his compassion and faithfulness to return their soul to them. How powerful it is to recognize your Creator and declare new life in the first thoughts of the day!
As Ephesians reads, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” As we live daily dying to Christ, remember each day to sow into resurrection life. For we are the living Glory of God in this world, today.