Pastoral Perspectives

The Gift Of Life

When news broke out that Paris was under siege, many were glued to the news. Every time it showed someone running away alive from the scene, my heart rejoiced.  Yet many lives, young and old were lost. Minutes before the incident happened, many would have been strangers, going about their usual evening business -some at a concert, some in a café and some to watch football. Suddenly everyone caught up in the tragedy were united in a common goal- to save lives, theirs and their loved ones. Life matters. When a baby is born, the family rejoices and even as a church, we send gifts and our wishes to congratulate the family. When there is life, there is celebration, there is activity, there is business but when life is gone, things take a completely different turn.

A man once returned from a trip to Egypt and recounted how terrified he was after seeing an Egyptian mummy. He said that a chill went up his spine when he saw the face of the mummy covered with powder-like stuff. When life is taken away, there is sadness, loss and it can even feel eerie.  There is a reason why horror movies often have scenes in or around a cemetery.

A few years ago, I visited a family who had lost a son in an accident in Malaysia. After we had prayed, one of us said “We will pray for the body to arrive.” The mother immediately said “We will pray for my son to arrive…” and even mentioned his name. Given a choice, we would like to cling on to this life as long as we can.

Hospitals, Ambulances, Accidents and Emergency rooms, Fire Engines etc. are reminders of what humans would do to save a life. What is this life? Wikipedia says “It is still a challenge for scientists and philosophers to define life in unequivocal terms.”

For us believers, the Bible says in Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” God is the giver of life and He breathed that life into us.

According to Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament , “…the human spirit is not a mere individualization of the divine breath which breathed upon the material of the world, or of the universal spirit of nature; nor is his body merely a production of the earth when stimulated by the creative word of God. The earth does not bring forth his body, but God Himself puts His hand to the work and forms him; nor does the life already imparted to the world by the Spirit of God individualize itself in him, but God breathes directly into the nostrils of the one man, in the whole fullness of His personality, the breath of life, that in a manner corresponding to the personality of God he may become a living soul” (Delitzsch).

Considering the fact that lives can be cut short in a blink of an eye, the word of God reminds us in Psalm 90: 12 “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

May we treasure this gift of life that God has given us by living godly and holy lives, doing kingdom business, engaging in kingdom work by growing in the grace and knowledge of God. May the words of this song speak to us today.

LIFE AT BEST IS VERY BRIEF

by William James Kirkpatrick

  1. Life at best is very brief,
    Like the falling of a leaf,
    Like the binding of a sheaf,
    Be in time.
    Fleeting days are telling fast
    That the die will soon be cast,
    And the fatal line be passed,
    Be in time.

Refrain
Be in time, be in time,
While the voice of Jesus calls you, be in time.
If in sin you longer wait,
You may find no open gate,
And your cry be just too late, be in time.

  1. Fairest flowers soon decay,
    Youth and beauty pass away,
    Oh, you have not long to stay,
    Be in time.
    While God’s Spirit bids you come,
    Sinner, do no longer roam,
    Lest you seal your helpless doom,
    Be in time.
  2. Time is gliding swiftly by,
    Death and judgment draweth nigh,
    To the arms of Jesus fly,

Be in time.
Oh, I pray you count the cost,
Ere the fatal line be crossed,
And your soul in hell be lost,
Be in time.

  1. Sinner, heed the warning voice,
    Make the Lord your final choice,
    Then all Heaven will rejoice,
    Be in time.
    Come from darkness into light,
    Come, let Jesus make you right,
    Come, and start for Heav’n tonight,
    Be in time.

Ms Loli Sani

November 22, 2015