Anglican Daily Fountain Devotional 27 November 2021
Topic: Sleeping In Christ – God’s Great Gift!
13. But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive [and] remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17. Then we who are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
18. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
One of God’s great gifts is the gift of sleep, especially sleep which is peaceful and deep. A deep night’s sleep can be so refreshing, one of life’s great pleasures! Paul referred to death as sleep for Christians (vv.14-15).
This seals the hope we ought to have, as a man who sleeps will certainly wake up. At the Feast of All Saints (November 1st) and in the month of November, we remember, first, the Saints in heaven, and then the souls of the faithful departed. Indeed, November right into the early part of Advent is also a part of the Church’s Calendar when we begin to ponder the last things: Death, judgement, heaven and hell.
Life changes we grow older and one day, we will die. But for those who have found faith in Christ, even in death, there is hope. And that was Paul’s message to the Thessalonian Church and for us today. Unfortunately, the practice of meditating on death and the afterlife has fallen out of favour in recent years. However, we do not only meditate on the dark abyss of death as the end; Jesus Christ died for our sins, saving us from death.
In the Christian context, the light of Christ streams through the darkness of death and fills it with the hope of heaven.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, may Your death give us the faith we need – that those who die in You will live forever.