There is an expression that is used to describe a large issue that is very close but that is unpleasant or uncomfortable. The "elephant in the room" is that expression. It occurred to me the other day that our personal nearness to death may be the ultimate "elephant" in our personal rooms. In the back of our minds we know that, long or short, our lives will run their earthly course and we will die. We don't spend a lot of time wrestling with the mystery of our birth, or how we happened to have a chance at this life, either. But our birth is behind us and we like to stay very busy with our lives, as we push the elephant aside each day. We tend to look for happiness in measurable, tangible things or in human friendships and even family ties...but we still work around the elephant and deny the inevitable reality of death. We are so good at pushing the large, ungainly creature aside that when one of us dies we can be truly shocked or stunned, when we also know that none of us knows the time of our departure...but all of us know that we will depart. So we ignore the elephant...He is large and he is near...but he's generally quiet. But one day we decide to face the elephant square in the trunk! There is geat bulk, but thiere is also strength and power. There is an awkwardness as he moves such great weight on massive legs, but there is a kind of grace as well. And as we look straight at the elephant and consider his nature we find Jesus walk up to us. He boosts us up and then climbs aboard the massive mammoth. Then he shows us how to ride the elephant so that we no longer need to deny his presence. Death is an elephant. His reality is unquestioned. His size is great. He stands quietly near in our room...but Jesus is here as well and we will ride the elephant together. When it is time to go, Jesus will go with us...but the elephant must remain behind.
1 Peter 3:18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
1 Peter 4:7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
blessings to all who ride the elephant, with an invitation to all to climb aboard