When Death Dies

The past week has been a wretched one for many people with whom in one way or another I have a certain connection, even if such bond only encompasses the relationship of one human being to another. There have come Hurricane Ike and its taking of lives, and such savage property destruction that it will strike a toll numbering into the multiplied billions of dollars; the catastrophic train accident in the Los Angeles area–worst train crash in the history of the area–;the untimely death of Justin Jones, a young man of 30 years old–the son of my friend, Dayna. Death is awful–repugnant and unrepentant.

But in finality death never wins. At the last, death dies.

For after death, we all “small and great, stand before God;” And at that final judgment, “…death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”  Rev. 20: 12 (portions) and 14

I am fond of the poetry of John Donne, so much so that I recall when I first read his poem Death. I’m in Crestline today, and this afternoon I sat in a comfortable chair and read again these beautiful words. I hope they will comfort you at this moment. I wish too, for both John Donne’s words and John the Revelator’s words to lance your soul with conviction and with spiritual examination…as they have mine.

“Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so:

For those whom thou think’st thou doest overthrow Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me.

From Rest and Sleep, which by thy picture be, Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow;

And soonest our best men with thee do go–Rest of their bones and souls’ delivery!

Thou’rst slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, and dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;

And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well And better than thy stroke. Why swell’st thou then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!

7 thoughts on “When Death Dies

  1. renaissanceguy

    The poem by John Donne is one of my absolute favorites.

    I got news of another friend’s passing this week–a beautiful, sweet woman who had just gone to minister in a foreign country. She leaves a husband and six children behind.

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  2. I am sorry for your loss. The tragedies too.

    When I was 19 years old, one of my best friends (she and her red-headed twin were just 11 days older than me and mine) died after her car crashed into oncoming traffic. At my urging, Renee’s mom had this poem inscribed on the back of Renee’s memorial stone at the cemetary.

    I cannot read this without remembering vividly the day Renee recited this our Senior year for speech class. Bittersweet. But after this much time, I am content to know she is with Jesus.

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  3. Esther

    Last week was very tragic for our church, Woodlawn, here in Mississippi also. Our Maw Maw Mae (pastor’s wife’s mother) passed away. She had 4 girls. She was the Maw Maw for the whole church. Also, the very next day we lost a faithful brother and his son. he pulled out from Walmart and a truck hit him. Killed him and his grown son. Funeral is today. What a week. But, we shall see all these wonderful saints again. Maw Maw Mae knew she was drying and her family was with her. A lot different from when Juston Jones died. But, the same results as they are both dancing on the streets of glory. Love ya

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  4. Sister Buxton:
    There was a Pastor in Muncie, Indiana that always sung a song when he conducted a funeral. The title of it is “No night there.” It goes—

    “In the land of fadeless day, Lies the city foursquare,
    It shall never pass away, for there is no night there
    God shall wipe away all tears there’s no death nor pain , nor tears.
    And they count not time by years
    for there isno nigfht there

    Brother Webb

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  5. Death is terrible, but it does not have the fnal victory. I want to be ready to meet God in peace when it comes my time to go.
    I have prayed for the hurricane victims and the family who have lost thier son. Though I don’t know them, my heart goes out to them.

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