What Hope Can I Offer the Dying?

“If I die,” my friend said in a whispered voice, “will you do the memorial service?”

“I will,” I said. I felt honored he asked me, someone who had attended and at times taught his adult Sunday School class. Now he lay in a hospital room, barely able to breathe, let alone speak. He had just transferred out of ICU. We both knew life could be short.

“What Scriptures would you like?” I asked. “I Corinthians,” he responded. I knew the passage–I thought. “Chapter 13?” I offered. “No,” he said, “Fifteen.” “Let me read it,” I said.

I quickly scanned the passage I hadn’t prepared. It begins with the good news of Jesus’ death for our sins, his resurrection, and his appearances to the Twelve and to 500 others. I read Paul’s teaching about the  resurrection body: “sown perishable, raised imperishable; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body.” I then read the Christian’s victory over death: “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Finally, I read him the chapter’s conclusion: Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

“Powerful,” he said, “powerful.” My friend died night before last.


About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy (gordongrose.com) blog to learn more. TragedyTransformed.com provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
This entry was posted in Death and Dying and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What Hope Can I Offer the Dying?

  1. Pingback: What Hope Can I Offer the Dying? | Wurds & Pics

Comments are closed.