Message from Reverend Ron Hay

We’ve majored in this service on remembering and paying tribute to Gottlieb. And that has been absolutely right.

However, it would not be right to leave here without a word of hope and consolation for all of us who mourn today.

In face of sudden and unexpected death, in face of human mortality, where is help to be found?

Psalm 121 says our "help comes from the Lord." The mountains are wonderful, but they don’t help us at times like this unless we allow them to point to a dimension beyond themselves.

Nicholas Wolterstorff is a leading American academic philosopher. He is also a Christian. He lost his son in a mountaineering accident some years ago and wrote a book about his loss called, "Lament for a Son." Wolterstorff honestly faces the pain and anguish of loss and doesn’t settle for any easy answers. But he also points to the Christian hope: "I am a Christian because I believe in death’s dying, and Christ’s rising."

I, too, am a Christian because I believe Christ’s resurrection marked the defeat of death. Christian faith says to us that beyond this world lies the real world. Beyond this world lies a world of unimaginable beauty and adventure and delight. Beyond this world lies a world where all our deepest, truest desires and longings will find their fulfillment. Beyond this time-bound world lies the eternal world. And the guarantee of all this is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Let me end with this comment from John Polkinghorne, former Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge University. "Christian belief in a destiny beyond death has always centred on resurrection. Christ’s resurrection is the foretaste and guarantee, within history, of our resurrection, which awaits us beyond history."


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