I had the privilege of preaching at Niverville Community Fellowship this morning. In November, I will be presenting series of seminars in their adult education program on ethical issues surrounding Medically Assisted Dying. However, from a Christian perspective, it’s impossible to ask what it might mean to die a good death, if you don’t first consider what it means to live a good life. Hence the title of my upcoming series, “Living Well, Dying Well.” In advance of that series I preached a sermon this morning that brought Psalm 8, Genesis 3:1-7 and Hebrews 2:5-18 into conversation. You can watch the sermon here. (The sermon begins around the 36 minute mark.)
“Consider how death is reported in the news. Those that produce the news seem to know that we have a morbid desire to know how someone died—in an automobile accident—because, as Tolstoy observed, a passion for finding the “cause” of someone else’s death can be a way of satisfying ourselves that they died accidentally or fortuitously by virtue of special circumstances affecting the one who died (but not me). It seems that we are at once obsessed by death while striving in every way possible to conceal its power over our lives. Accordingly, we ask those charged to care for us when we are ill to do everything they can to get us out of life alive. This is yet another form of self-protection, as it means we then get to blame health-care providers for any miseries related to keeping us alive at all costs.”1
This is the fifteenth in a series of posts highlighting captivating, provocative, or simply entertaining quotes from the forthcoming book Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections by Stanley Hauerwas edited by Robert J. Dean (Cascade).
- Stanley Hauerwas, “Resurrection,” in Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 185. ↩