Mana Minute (September ’21)

This edition of the quarterly Mana Minute is written by Dr. Rev. Glenn Rice, Berkshire Christian President

    News of the recent devastation from an earthquake and hurricane in Haiti and the surge in Covid-19 deaths remind us that life is very precious. According to one news source, an entire town in west Texas has been “essentially closed” because so many people contracted the  coronavirus. Over the last month, more than 270,000 people worldwide have died from COVID-19, and more than 4 million deaths occurred worldwide since the pandemic began. This tragic reality is sadly eclipsed by the staggering number of total worldwide deaths in 2020 – reportedly as high as 59 million people! 

     As astounding as these numbers are, they shouldn’t surprise us. The Bible says that “it is appointed for man to die once” (Heb.9:27). Death is an inevitable part of life. In spite of this stark reality, the response of many is to ignore our mortality and not think about death. One inescapable truth, however, is that we are all one day closer to that inevitable day, whether we live in west Texas, Haiti, or anywhere else in this broken world. It is no secret that everyone on earth will physically die at some point. As believers in Christ we already possess eternal life, but we also know that one day our bodies will fail and we will die (unless the Lord returns first). 

     Possessing this understanding and as those called to respond biblically to the events and issues of our day, as well as the dire effects of sin, our response to death’s harsh reality must be the good news of the gospel. Bearing witness to the truth is not optional for any follower of Jesus. As DL Moody once said, “Death may be the King of terrors… but Jesus is the King of kings!” Those who have trusted Christ as their Savior need not fear death. The day of our death is coming, but God has promised to be with us even then. The psalmist said, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,” (Psalm 23:4). 

     Unbelievers find death’s sudden and often unexpected arrival a disturbing thought. This is because they value temporal life more than they value eternal life. They do not consider that Jesus is the Lord of both the living and the dead (Rom.14:9). But that need not be the case for those in Christ. Our hope as Christians is found in Christ’s victory over sin and the grave. God knows when we will die. God knows how we will die. God has appointed the time of our death. We do not know when this time is, but we know it will happen as surely as we know that the sun rises. God wants us to live each day to its fullest because today may be the last day of our  earthly life (Eph. 5:15-16; James 4:13-15). 

     Live your life today for Jesus. Let Christ be seen in you as others look at your life. Know, as Paul reminds us in Romans 14:8, that “if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”