WE live. WE die. We Glorify.

Last night we were led by Doug Montzingo in memorializing his son Matt by singing praises to Jesus and swapping Matt stories. For outsiders who did not know Matt or the Montzingos, or for that matter do not know Jesus, the service may have seemed out-of-kilter. One week ago their son was killed in a freak accident, a head-on collision with a Moose in Alaska, and here we are celebrating? Doug led the praise choruses because he has been doing it for 20+ years at this church and as he said, “Matt would have wanted it.”

More than one observer was shaken by the joy at an event they expected would be filled with solemn sorrow. The Apostle Paul explained it 2,000 years ago. “We sorrow, but not as those who have no hope.” Our central belief as Christians is that when Jesus promised he would “go and prepare a place for us,” he validated the promise through his resurrection from the dead. We are assured of eternal life with God.

It is not that we want to die. The young South Korean beheaded by terrorists this week was preparing for missionary service in the Middle East. Before his beheading you could hear him saying, “I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.” No we don’t seek out death, but we are ready for it when it comes.

We are called to live life fully until our time of departure arrives. We are often unaware of how desperate people are about the emptiness of life; Craig Wilson’s friend committed suicide this week and it caught him off guard. Mary-Kate Olson’s money, fame and success didn’t keep her from trying to “starve herself” to death.

Today people talk about being spiritual but not religious like rapper Kanye West. After gathering in a church with the company of friends with whom I seek God, this notion strikes me as patently absurd. “Organized Religion” is an easy target for derision, but it is in the order and ritual of religious disciplines and practices and in the “community with others” that our spiritual life takes root, is nurtured and grows to maturity so we are ready to die.

Jack Ryan is a Senate candidate who seems to feel he has met God’s high expectations despite trying to involve his wife in tawdry, kinky sexual practices. Any time someone hangs onto their righteousness instead of rushing to God’s grace they are cruising for a fall.

And so we live our lives to someone’s glory let it be God’s.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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  • ‚©CRS Communications 6/23/04

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