The Death of Embarrassment

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I have written about it before, but one of my favorite tunes comes from the rock group Coldplay. It’s the end of their incredible album Viva La Vida, and they choose to end their album with these words:

No I don't want to battle from beginning to end
I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge
I don't want to follow Death and all of his friends

For a long time, death in our culture has been personified. We think about a shadowy figure in a black robe carrying a scythe. Sometimes that image is meant to scare, and sometimes it’s meant to be mocked. But this song gives rise to the idea that death has friends, and boy does that ever ring true in our world?

Take for instance embarrassment. I can remember my very first ever sermon, though not for exceptionally good reasons. I was in about the 9th grade, and I stood up to preach the Gospel message of forgiveness to our youth group. There was a group of girls sitting in the front row, right in front of me, giggling the whole way through my sermon. It takes me a while to catch on, so I just assumed that they were laughing at one of my many awesome jokes, and just couldn’t stop themselves from laughing on. Or at least that was my assumption until I walked off the stage and my youth pastor told me my fly was down.

Embarrassment feels like a little death, because it is.

It doesn’t take too long to think about all the kinds of death that we experience on a daily basis. There’s the death of embarrassment. Or the death of loneliness. Perhaps you’ve experienced the death of greed. Or are you better pals with the death of heartache? There are so many deaths in our world, it’s impossible to get through a day unscathed, isn’t it?

This leads me to one of my least favorite sayings among Christians: God has bigger things to deal with than me. Nothing could be more false. We worship a God who is in the business of bringing life out of death, resurrection out of tombs. And yes to be sure that means that we will one day live into the resurrection of eternal life, but I think that resurrection is as available to us for all of death’s friends as it is at the end of our days. I think God cares deeply about beating back the deaths of rejection and gluttony and betrayal and resurrecting life in us. I think Jesus leans in to all of death’s friends in our lives and says “Let me help out with that.”

I think this is an essential message for us to hear as we are laughing at death this Halloween month. None of these little deaths has the last word, the God of life does. Whatever you find yourself going through today, I encourage you to seek out Jesus. Life comes pouring out of death, and the result is beautiful!

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