There are times death confronts us.
Maybe someone we know and love dies.
Or we hear of an unexpected death—
a tragic death.
Sometimes even when we watch the devastation
that is too often the news.
There are times,
in the midst of our living,
death breaks through and confronts us.
And we consider how death sometimes gifts us,
how we pray for death to come,
and we’re grateful—
how it sometimes robs us,
we pray it doesn’t come,
and we’re angry.
And none of us know when and how it will come for us.
And we’re hopeful, and we’re afraid.
We know there are lives lived well and fully,
and there are lives with far too much left undone.
There are lives rich beyond measure
in family and love, in community and service,
and there are lives misfocused
on what people only thought
was most important.
And we know
all we can really do
is trust Your ever-embracing love
and better live,
and better help each other live,
the lives we want to—
so that the stuff that gets in the way
with which we all have to deal
(because it does get in the way)
is never allowed an inappropriate priority.
Be our guide, and be our strength,
be our truth, and be our wisdom,
be our hope, and be our assurance—
in Jesus’ name.