My grandad passed yesterday. We are all very sad to say the least. He was an absolutely wonderful man and I have the honor of officiating the memorial service. He was a rock. He was a pillar. He was security for so many. His almost 90 years was a rich life. Most importantly, he was a Christian.
I will soon be delivering a commencement speech for those graduating High School. What a time of promise and hope. Everything is in front of these graduates. You could say that far more is in front of them than behind them (in terms of years, God willing). They are just getting started.
I share the above because I was struck by the contrast between the two. Death and grief on one end, and life and promise on the other. Yet, this is not completely accurate. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:13–14 that Christians are not condemned to grieve like those who have no hope: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” In other words, every person in my family that is a Christian (a clear denial of universalism) will see my grandad again. As C.S. Lewis said, the pain now will be part of the joy later.