One of my highlights each week is when i get my Sports Illustrated. This week Pat Tillman was on the cover. Pat Tillman was the much celebrated professional football player who left the millions of dollars on the table to enlist in the army so he could join the fight against terrorism. A couple of years latter he was killed in a Afghanistan by friendly fire. The article was about what happened the day he died and the controversies surrounding it.
The bummer of the article for me was that Tillman was an atheist. At his memorial service his brother said, "Pat's not in heaven with God, Pat's f*****g dead."
I could not move beyond that quote and have thought about it everyday since.
He's saying that this is the end. Pat is no more and he's not in a better place, he is died. We will not be reunited with him someday, its over, death is the end.
How sad it must be for people who live it that reality. That death is indeed the end. We really would have reason to be sad if that was the truth.
But the good news of the gospel is that it does not have to be that way. One of the many promises God has given us is the hope of the resurrection. Jesus said "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me even though they die, yet shall they live."
The Blog of Gordon Pruitt the Pastor of St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Richmond Virginia