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Lenten Devotionals Tuesday February 28, 2023: Fear of Death

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor power, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus or Lord.”  (Romans 8:38-39)

This scripture is often read at gravesides and funeral services because it’s such a comfort to those grieving.  Although we are separated by death from our loved one, it’s comforting to hear and know they are not separated from God.  We need this comfort.

Death, as the ultimate ending, is also the ultimate unknown.  Images of pearly gates, streets paved with gold and angels singing while strumming harps proliferate our conception of the next life.  But no one comes back to report.  Is death painful?  Will we miss our loved ones and our lives?  Will we carry the love we knew in this life into the next?  No matter how the specifics shake out, God’s promises remain sure and steady.  We do not face death alone.  Nothing will separate us from God’s love.  We can let go of this life with faith that God will never let us go.

Examine:  Sit with your fear of death.  Breathe.  Notice thoughts and feelings that arise.

Imagine:  Imagine yourself passing into the next life.  Visualize strolling along a forest trail that connects this life to the next.  How is God present with you on this journey?  Is God your companion along the trail?  Or the sun peeking between the leaves of the forest’s canopy?  Or the solid earth beneath your feet?  Or the fragrance of wildflowers u ahead?

Pray:  Free me from fear, O God, so I can live with faith.