In the past few months I have had more than one conversation with different people which were almost identical. They all went like this: ‘My mother/grandma/aunt/whatever is beginning to talk about death, and it turns out that in spite of being a staunch Christian, someone I’ve looked up to all my life as a pillar of faith, it turns out they they’re not at all sure what to expect as they know their life is drawing to a close, and are actually quite frightened. What do you say to people like that? And where on earth has the Church’s ministry of teaching been?’
I also read an article from the Church Times which asked ‘Do we believe in the resurrection of the dead or not?’ The author was bemoaning the fact that in all the pronouncements coming from the C of E centrally about Covid 19 there was very little which spoke about a Christian response to death and dying, or of the Easter hope of the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. All we were getting was good advice on how to avoid dying.
So in response to these two events, and in case it helps, I offer a sermon which I preached at my church in Lincoln a while ago.