Scripture: Deuteronomy 18:15-20
This passage of scripture is from the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible known as Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is the last of the books traditionally ascribed to Moses. (It can’t really have been written by Moses because it describes events that took place many years after his death). Nevertheless, it is an account of Moses’ work as legislator, leader and spiritual guide for a people who had been freed from slavery and the clutches of an Egyptian pharaoh.
In this particular passage, Moses is telling his people that a great prophet will follow him and they are to listen to that prophet. Moses says, “I will put my words in the mouth of that prophet.” Moses is comforting his people, preparing them for the day that he will no longer be with them.
Moses does what any good CEO would do for her company, letting her employees know that there is a succession plan and that all will be well.
Do you have a succession plan in place for your life? I have been reluctant to think about my own death. After all, how could this world possibly carry on without me in it? And, yet, I know that the day will come when it is time for my body to die. In our modern, scientific world, however, our aversion to death requires doctors to try all manner of life saving methods to prolong a life, sometimes beyond what is ethically and morally justifiable. That’s when I want to chose how my life will end. With my family all around me and with the courage of my convictions, I want to be able to say, “Enough! I chose death. Let me die, peacefully and with dignity.”
I am a moral agent, with the free will that God has lavished upon me. I get to make choices about many things in my life. Why can’t I also chose how and when I will die?
By David Trimble
Compassionate God, life is such a mystery. The ebb and flow of human life is wondrous to behold. And death is a necessary part of that ebb and flow. Give me courage to face my death with dignity. And then grant to me a delightful surprise beyond death. AMEN