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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 15, 2006

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 15, 2006 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 14, 2006
      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 15, 2006

      **********

      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
      Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
      devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
      Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      The Jesus way to die

      "When some of the bystanders heard it, they said,
      'This man is calling for Elijah.' At once one of
      them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine,
      put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink.
      But the others said, 'Wait, let us see whether
      Elijah will come to save him.' Then Jesus cried
      again with a loud voice and breathed his last."
      Matthew 27:47-50

      The moment of death is sacred. We both fear and
      respect it. I have been at many hospital and
      hospice bedsides as people breathed their last
      breath. I have seen the light in their eyes
      dim and become extinguished. It is a holy moment
      when we are reminded of our own mortality.

      We each have a time to be born and a time to die.
      Dying is part of life. Despite the poet Dylan
      Thomas' adjuration, "Do not go gentle into that
      good night, / Old age should burn and rave at
      close of day; / Rage, rage against the dying of
      the light," sometimes death is actually a blessing
      after great physical suffering from lingering or
      debilitating illnesses. (The quote is from "The
      Poems of Dylan Thomas," published by New Directions.
      Copyright 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright 1937,
      1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the
      Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright 1938, 1939,
      1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp.)

      North American culture does not often let people
      either die or mourn gracefully. Many people
      completely avoid the topic and will not even use
      the word "death." People say the departed ones
      "passed on." Another phrase I have often heard
      is, "God took them home." Others quietly will
      say, "They've gone to be with the Lord." Society
      continues to frantically search for the fountain
      of youth, but death will eventually happen to all
      of us.

      There is a Jesus way to die that offers us courage,
      hope, and dignity. It is the way of faith and it
      is available to all of us. We see this enormous
      faith through the final prayer of Christ as he
      breathed his last. "It is finished" (John 19:30)
      and "Father (translated from the Greek word, Pater),
      into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46 NIV).
      Then he died. Jesus knew his time was up. His
      lifework was finished. For Jesus, God was his
      beloved, tender, compassionate heavenly Pater.
      Christ's prayer life helped him live with greatness
      and die with dignity and courage in his deepest
      moments of need. He confidently placed himself
      into the loving hands of his dear heavenly Parent
      whom he loved and served. God ushered him into
      eternity.

      Even in death, Jesus reminds us that God is as
      near as our breathing, closer than our hands and
      feet. Whatever our cherished sacred names for
      God may be, we can be assured our Divine Companion
      and Guide will usher us into eternity when it is
      time. There is no need to be afraid of death.
      Commit yourself to God and remember that God is
      faithful. We will never be forsaken or abandoned
      in our final breaths. We are in divine loving
      hands as we are ushered into Paradise.

      Hold me close to your heart, God. Be nearer than
      my breathing and closer than my hands and feet
      even in death. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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