It was with deep sadness last week that I read Jeff Whitten’s column about the passing of Jamie Parker. I met Jamie not long after I moved to Pembroke, and I considered him a friend.
We were often together in the press box at Bryan County football games, and after he moved to “the other paper,” he would ask me to write an occasional column. I was not even aware that Jamie had been sick.
As a Christian pastor I believe that there is more to life than what we see in this world. I believe in the reality of heaven and that it will be an even better place than where we are today. But that does not prevent me from being sorrowful at the passing of a friend or family member.
To the church in Thessalonians, Paul wrote, “I do not want you to grieve as others do.” Notice that he did not say “not to grieve.” But we do not have to grieve in the same manner as those without hope.
In life we have the marvelous privilege of living in relationships with others. We love. We care. And because of that, we hurt when we lose those whom we love.
But we also have hope that is real. It is based in the historical fact that Jesus was raised from the dead, and that he will do for us what was done for him.
Jesus has defeated our greatest enemy, death itself. The final victory may not be evident. But it has been won. Just as the chess master knows after only a couple of moves that the outcome is inevitable, so the creator and sustainer of life has won the victory for us.
We can rejoice, because God has won.