God Pause for Wednesday, 11/5/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Wednesday, 11/5/2014 Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Someone once told me why the loss of a loved one is so painful. "Grief hurts because death was not a part of God's original plan." When someone dies people speak of a hole in their lives. People who grieve speak of feeling lost, of experiencing deep emotional pain, of being unable to imagine going on in life without their loved one.

Paul acknowledges the pain of death and loss when writing to the early church of Thessalonica. In a very pastoral way, Paul teaches that grief is going to happen, but in Christ our grief assumes a different character. As believers we are caught up in both Christ's death and resurrection, and the hopeful promise that one day we will be rejoined with those who have passed. This hope, Paul encourages, gives new strength and focus to face the grief we feel when someone close to us dies.

Loving God, help us know this hope of new life in Christ of which Paul writes. May we find renewed strength in our grief as we await that final day when all will be reunited in your eternal presence. Amen.>

Keith Anderson Pastor, First Lutheran Church Ketchikan, Ala. Master of Divinity, 1989

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NRSV)

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

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