Learning to die well

Reading 1 Corinthians 15

24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

With your gospel, Lord, teach your congregation to die. Give us strength to endure until you call. We want to behold your eternal gospel! Amen. Amen.

"Learning to Die," sermon on 24 November 1935

Easter? Our attention falls more on dying than on death. How we deal with dying is more important to us than how we conquer death. Socrates overcame dying; Christ overcame death.

"The last enemy to be destroyed is death" (1 Cor. 15:26). Dealing with dying doesn’t mean dealing with death. The overcoming of dying is within the realm of human possibilities; the overcoming of death means resurrection.

Based not on the art of dying, but on the resurrection of Christ, a new, cleansing wind can blow into the present world. If a few people really believed this and let it affect the way they move in their earthly activity, a lot of things would change. To live on the basis of resurrection — that is what Easter means.

Most people do not know what their lives are actually based on. They are very much surrounded by mental confusion. There is an unconscious waiting for a resolving and liberating word. Yet the time has probably not yet arrived when it can be heard. But that time will come.