I had the joy yesterday of revising what insurance we have underpinning our mortgage. The discussion was a repeated one of what would happen to my family if I die and what financial package might I leave behind when that day inevitably arrives. There’s nothing quite like a health questionnaire (albeit the answers mainly ‘no’ to every disease listed), and the repeated phrase ‘so if you were to die…’ to remind you of the inevitable.
And it is hard to escape the issue of death at the moment. Whatever your views on our monarchy, pretty much every media establishment in Britain is wedded to non-stop programming and articles about the death of QEII. If ever someone looked like they might buck the trend, it was her. The one who just always seems to have been there. Except, she hasn’t always been there – there are some people who remember her coronation still knocking around – and now she isn’t here. The inevitable was, well, inevitable.
In communities like mine, the inevitability of death seems that much more inevitable. The average life expectancy in Oldham falls somewhat below the national average. Within the town, there is a whopping 15-year difference in average life expectancy between certain areas. Not only do the general markers of deprivation add to that, but then there are all sorts of other problems that feed in too. Drug use, alcoholism, violent crime and the rest all lead to these sort of outcomes. There is no escaping the reality of death.
Given that it comes to us all, it’s worth asking – much like I was when my life insurance was up for review – if we are prepared for it. What happens when you die and what can we do to prepare for it?
The Bible tells us how sin has ruined everything – including our relationship with God – but that Jesus Christ was sent into the world to save sinners. He came to destroy the devastating effects of sin, and make us right with God, so that we can enjoy the relationship we were created to have with him. Not just now, but forever. Jesus said, ‘The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’
We prepare for death by believing in the one who came to save us from death. We prepare by believing in the one who was sent to bring us back to God. We prepare by putting our lives under the Lordship of Jesus so that, though we may die now, we will indeed live and ultimately never die.
Death inevitably comes to us all. I wonder if you are prepared for it?