Friday, August 14, 2015

In Answer to a Poem on Death Heard on NPR

The following poem is my response to a poem I heard read on the air on National Public Radio. 

That poem landed where much secular humanist poetry lands when it comes to death, and that is that it's okay to be pro-afterlife only if we can't know what that is. It's okay to entertain thoughts of life after death as long as the only surety is the anticipation of it and the possibility of what we might make of ourselves in the next life. But more importantly, the ideology goes, since we can't ever really know what will happen to us after we die, we are to close out our lives on earth having made sure that we have truly lived, to have given it our best shot here.

In contrast to this daring to think wishfully, the Christian can know the content and context of their next life. In addition, life that precedes that heavenly life is lived within that knowledge, not irregardless or in ignorance of it. 

It is with unabashed surety in the joy of our salvation based on God's own Word to us that we live outside of a fear of death and free of hesitant maudlin musings in the genre of "perhaps."

God's gift of salvation in Jesus Christ is now, in present tense, and later, forever in heaven. That is a truth, not a conjecture; a sure hope, not a maybe; a firm foundation, not a crapshoot.  

In Answer to a Poem on Death Heard on NPR

It is enough to watch the sun rise,
to know, with certainty, there is a heaven and an earth,
that life after death is not
some wishful nebulous
informed-by-one’s-hopeful-thinking possibility
of re-imagining oneself yet again,
the way one re-imagined themselves
in their own image
all their years on earth--
the very earth (and therefore very heaven),
they deny
in their own self-imposed opinion.

by Barb Harwood
copyright Barb Harwood

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Jesus speaking in John 14:1-4

"If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: 'The first man Adam became a living being'; the last Adam, a life giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.  The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man." 1 Corinthians 44b-49

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