In the past four weeks I have spoken at three memorial services. At the same time I have friends who have attended services for family who have died. I have never been through a season like this before in my 26 years of pastoral ministry.
Finally having time to sit and take stock of what I have just experienced has led to me to some familiar Scripture and some necessary commitments.
The familiar Scripture is Ephesians 5:15-16 which says, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” In the previous verse Paul has shown how we live in a world of contrasts between death and life, darkness and light. We, as Christians, are called to shine the light of the gospel to expose the darkness and call those who are dead in sin to life in Christ. Verse 14 is a great evangelistic appeal saying, “Awake sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Faced with the real and often sudden nature of death leads me to resolve to never take anything for granted. We have no guarantees of tomorrow for ourselves or others. I must make the most of my time – buying it up – by investing in the eternal souls of those around me.
It can’t be enough to just live a Christian life and do church. The purpose of my Christian life and the purpose of the church is to exalt Jesus Christ and shine the light and life of the good news into a world of darkness and death so that people can receive eternal life in Christ and are prepared for the inevitability of death.
May the Lord help us to take nothing for granted and make the most of our time.