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Eben Alexander, the neurosurgeon who four years ago survived a near-death experience, ponders the meaning of resurrection and its implications for our view of death.
If we miss the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter, we miss a crucial part of the Holy Week story.
It is easier to talk about death and pain, than beauty and light.
The idiom “seeing is believing” has its origins in the Gospel of John’s account of the resurrection of Jesus.
Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. (John 20:3,4)
When our expectations are dashed, there is a temptation to scramble around looking for the best explanation for our circumstances. There must be a reason. We seek comfort in the hope that we might be able to make sense of the conundrum of our lives.
I have worked in the church for over thirty years. In my work I have seen a lot of pain. I have walked with people through wrenching marital discord, agonizing family strife, employment and financial disaster, and mountains of individual suffering, loss, and grief.
Looking out at the world it sometimes seems that the litany of turmoil and pain just goes on and on: Haiti, New Zealand, Japan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Ivory Coast, Israel, Palestine – earthquakes, Tsunamis, political turmoil, civil war, violence, anger, hatred …
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She was desperate when we first met. She was a young mother with two small children. Her husband had gone out behind the house, placed the barrel of a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. He died instantly.
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