At a bespoke dance party, heavy on the sequins and synchronized dance moves, two Barbies are talking:
Barbie #2: “This is the Best Day Ever…”
Barbie #1: “It IS the Best Day Ever! So was yesterday and so was tomorrow and every day from now until forever!”
Barbie #1 continues dancing…and then asks, “Do you guys ever think about dying?”
You can watch the movie clip of this scene here!
Recently, the Lutheran Pastor Nadia Bolz Weber preached a sermon titled “You’re Going to Die.”
I’m so grateful that the Christian calendar has days set aside to just call a thing what it is; days where we confront the truth of our mortality. And I love that we have the gall to do it right smack in the middle of our death-denying culture, a culture where we are so often offered the message that we can live forever with the right combination of yoga, injections and elective surgery. But while the false promises of immortality through self-improvement might sell product, they do nothing for us in any real way other than to make us feel like we can avoid the most inevitable thing in the world:
That you will die.
And I will die.
And so will every human being ever born…
…and while the afterlife is unknowable in any epistemological sense, I’ve had an image in my head all week –and it wasn’t mansions and gold streets in heaven like in the Gospel hymns I grew up singing. Never really understood the appeal of spending eternity in a place that looks like it was decorated by Liberace … anyhow, all week I’ve had this image of the miracle demanded by we who must die. It is the souls of the dead woven together in the presence of God, their names being spoken in pure love by God, every tear being wiped dry, every illusion of their separateness and divisions being vanished, woven through eternity. And it lit the heavens. Maybe this is what Paul named the great cloud of witnesses and while it cannot be seen by the Webb telescope, maybe in some unfathomably spiritual sense – maybe it is the fabric of the universe itself.
So let me reiterate Barbie’s question: “Do you guys ever think about dying?”
Whatever your answer is, how about thinking about it,
and sharing those thoughts with others, at Grace?
Death and Legacy: How to Prepare for a Good Death in Community
WHO: Anyone, of any age, who wants to attend! No requirement to be a member of Grace Church.
WHAT: A 90 minute introductory workshop on Death, Dying & Leaving a Legacy
WHEN: Sunday, Nov 12 from 12-1:30 pm, after the 10 am worship service
WHERE: Grace Episcopal Church, Sanctuary
WHY: Death is a very rich subject. Most often people haven’t had a place, or an opportunity to talk about it with others. It’s also something we don’t really like to talk about in our culture, generally.
There’s a very brief online form to fill out to let me know whether or not you are coming. Since this conversation is 12:00-1:30 after services, there will be lunch provided. Donations to cover the cost of lunch are welcome and gratefully accepted!
Questions? Concerns? Please email Sarah Christopher at [email protected] or call me at the church at 707.963.4157. Here is a flier with more information for you to print and share with anyone you know who might be interested. I am looking forward to seeing you at this workshop, and grateful for your willingness to bring others into this conversation!
Sarah Christopher, Associate Lay Pastor