A sermon on Acts 9: 36-43

I’ve been weighed down this week by some pretty heavy conversations about death.  I talked to someone who is afraid that her own life may be in danger from disease.  I spoke with several people about loved ones who are close to death, and another person who has an elderly family member they struggle to love who may be fading soon. 

Death is really hard, and generally pretty final, though you’d hardly know it with the Scripture passages recently raising Lazarus, Jesus and now Tabitha from their graves.  Death as we know it, deep in our hearts though, is an ending, a separation, and a deep, deep sadness.  Most of us try to avoid thinking about it, and do a pretty good job of avoidance until something happens to us or a friend or a family member and we’re thrust right into the thick of it.

Almost inevitably the big a-ha moment when we recognize our own vulnerability to death is “I wish I had done something different with my life.  I wish I had worked less and spent more time with my family; I wish I had been more patient with my mom and dad; I wish I had reconciled with my sister or brother or child or spouse.”  No one’s ever told me, I wish I had devoted myself even more to good works and charity, though.  Not one person!

Which doesn’t mean good works and charity are bad – au contraire!  So many people were weeping because of the loss they felt at Tabitha’s death, that Peter had to put them outside to get a word in to God.  I at least would love to live a life that bettered so many people’s lives.  But in our story today it feels something is missing in Tabitha’s life despite all her good works – care for herself, joy in knowing God personally, beyond just the work, work, work, work.   A deep and abiding sense that even when we die, our work will go on.

This is a sermon about second chances that begin right now. In this moment you can start living the life that God is calling you to live. To hear the rest of the sermon, click here.