A Prayer for Those Who Fear Death

VICAR

Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, I trust that You and Your families are well and prosperous. It’s another Sunday.

How many Sundays do You have left?

It is unlikely that You know the answer to that question. Perhaps some patients on cancer wards across Britain know? Perhaps soldiers seventy five years ago had a good idea as they piled into Normandy. In short we do not generally know when we are going to die and so we are left wondering. Unfortunately, the way we have come to live, we tend to fear death. We dread death. We know it will come like a thief in the night.

I recall a teacher who spoke to cocky lower sixth students each year: “Every year I have been making this statement for forty years. Death will come like a thief in the night. In 20 years there will be one of you here who has died.” And so his prophecy proved right. His words gained traction as the decades passed by; as the suicides and the brain tumours mounted.

Death and taxes.

There’s no escaping death. We simply need to ignore death or come to terms with it. As those who we love go before us, perhaps we fear death less? I certainly have come to a point in my life, after having as many lives as a cat and as many near misses as Raheem Sterling, where I fear death less. I have sat down with the dying and listened to the stories of those who have technically died but returned. And I have taken comfort in the words of the New Testament about death, in particular:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

~ Romans 6:23

Certainly death can be a fearful thing, because we are human. We know about loss and grief, we understand pain and suffering. Our society does not support the contemplation of our own death – whether as a future abstraction or, depending on the state of our age and health, a more-or-less imminent prospect. Yet we also recognise that we live in a world where, as Jesus reminds us in the Advent Gospels, our own ending will most likely come as that thief in the night.

So let us pray for those who fear the inevitable, for those who fear death. And for those who are so preoccupied with their lives that they have no time to address this really rather important issue.

I wish You all a successful week and a peaceful Sunday. God Bless.

O Lord Jesus,
pour into me the spirit of your love,
that in the hour of my death
I may be worthy to vanquish the enemy
and receive the heavenly crown.

Amen.