I read an article last month about why Christians should clip obituaries. Occasionally various family members have accused me of passing strangeness for my obituary reading, so I felt vindicated by the article.
Reading obituaries is a shocking reminder that we can not always predict the time of our death. Even those of us in seemingly good health, those at the peak of success in our careers, those just starting out in life, those going about God's work in the world - all of us are absolutely sure of only one thing - we don't know when our earthly lives will end.
Now Christians should already know this shouldn't we? We've read it in many verses of Scripture. And yet Christians are just as shocked and incredulous when we read the accounts of lives ended too soon.
Then last week a friend from Church died "unexpectedly". He was only 58 years old, but that's not old, is it? It sure doesn't sound old to this 62 year old! So it was a shock and it took several days to process the news and to accept the finality of his death, except . . .
as Christians we don't accept the finality of death. We know that death is just a passage from this earthly life that is finite to our life with God that is eternal.
And so, the reason we should keep reading those obituaries is to remind us to number our days, to not take life or any moment of it for granted, and of course to make every moment count - not so our obituary will be a glowing account of our earthly life, but so that we will know the peace and joy of living with and worshipping our God for eternity.