Today, ministry to the bereaved loved ones of those who complete mortality is in view.  In the hour of our greatest distress and sorrow, Christian believers are commanded to proclaim good news.  Many are taking time out on July 4, 2016, to celebrate American Independence as a unique, sovereign nation; and the followers of Jesus also are acknowledging Christian Independence through the kingdom of GOD from the “curse of the law,” the second death, things earthy, hopelessness, sorrowing, and sin.  While offering  prayers for divine acceptance and forgiveness of the deceased are an important aspect of the necessary work that must be done to nourish the sacred spirit within the living, the bereaved themselves must become realigned, and permanently secure as having correct eternal relationship with the Creator.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Digital” (Level 3 with 1,547 points, a member since March 04, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why do Christians bury their dead?

Jesus tells a disciple, who needs to bury his dead father, to follow him instead and let the dead bury their dead. What are we supposed to make of this rather strange injunction?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  (1st Thessalonians 4:  13-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Practice of Forgiveness (07/03/2016); Sacred Operations To Give Life? (06/29/2016); Pie In The Sky? (06/23/2016); The Dimensions of Death? (04/24/2016); It Takes The Cross (04/22/2016); The American Covenant? (03/03/2015); We Become Comforters? (07/19/2014); Comfort? (09/06/2014); Our Present Comfort? (06/28/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013)

 

“Digital”, here are some thoughts that may help.  The death of a loved one introduces irreparable breaks and upheavals within one’s ongoing sense of control, reality and security.  In fact, we say, bereavement is a form of temporary insanity.  Even where there has been a long-term illness, the completion of mortality may come as sudden and unexpected.  Surviving loved ones still may become emotionally and spiritually overwhelmed.  In addition to practical tasks of removing the cadaver before it begins to decompose, family and others are challenged to manage disposal or distribution of the possessions and property of the deceased, and may be required to fill the roles and perform the work carried out by the deceased.  Multiple responses are required on multiple levels that often become confused and difficult to complete.

As children many of us went through stages of understanding that began with the simple idea, when you die, we all go to heaven.  We barely recognize later when judgment and selection are introduced:  we find, Saint Peter is waiting at the “pearly gates,” and your name must be in his book, or you are sent to “the other place.”  As we continue examining the things of GOD, such as the fall of Adam, the flood of Noah, the judgment upon Sodom, many of us arrive at adulthood having acquired a permanent association of death with sin, divine condemnation, and final judgment. 

As we grow up, we are taught to maintain control and self-discipline over emotions of anger, despair, fear, and hopelessness by using the finite human tools of intellect, logic, philosophy, science and technology.  However, where human beliefs are dominated by carnal, material, and social elements of experience they also continue human error.  Thus, Christian believers have been provided with sacred knowledge and practices to establish “discernment” (ability to correctly recognize spirit content from the makeup of GOD, and the “active presence” of divinity within events, oneself, other persons, purposes, statements, etc.)

For many, ministry for the dead centers in causing a release of emotion (we say, bring about catharsis), dodging depression, and getting “back to work” and usual routines.  Ministry to “manage” death among Christians focuses on providing “hope” (specific expectations commanded by GOD) to the living along with such elements as consolation, focus, instruction, order, and prophecy (i.e., comfort, edification (building up), and exhortation (urging useful action) ).  Raising the dead is not generally practiced by disciples and followers of Jesus Christ, today.  As seen with Lazarus, such events are temporal, and in place of faith may generate spiritual confusion, fear, and uncertainty).  Judgment of believers is occurring, now; and where they are alive, they will be taken up from the earth at his appearing (we say, Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming) along with those who must be resurrected.  A second resurrection of the dead is required for the wicked to appear in judgment.  There are no “dead” in heaven, the place of divine presence.

There is far more that could be said, must be carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, the firstborn or heir of the deceased is given a double-portion from the estate in order to conclude the unfinished business of their benefactor.  This may involve clearing, creating, securing, and uplifting the “good name” and reputation of the deceased by making gifts and donations as well as by promoting good works.  In this way, life is restored to the dead, and we may say, the dead are raised.)  Even so, I am sure this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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