Lectionary Year A
November 10, 2002

I Thessalonians 4:13-18
Contemporary Address

Step VI - Contemporary Address

A. Goals

(JFC) This passage might produce a sermon to help deal with and prepare for death.

B. Describing the Audience

(JFC) Any congregation with any recent deaths that have caused difficulties in facing with hopeful grief could benefit from this sermon.

C. Address

(JFC) a sermon, entitled for this working draft, "Dealing With Death"

We all face death. Death is to be dealt with more than feared or denied. It is real. Death happens, another possible bumper sticker. Death happens. God knows it and so do we.

I. God
A. Paul pictures God's descending from heaven. God wants the dead as well as the living never to be without their/our Creator, God. God accompanies us in life and in death.

B. God comes to earth to bring with Him the dead. God endures the pangs of coming to the human plain, to come to be with us while we live and when we die.

II. Jesus
A. It is through Christ that God will bring the dead to heaven, to everlasting life. Jesus has lived a human life, has died a human death and has been raised, also, as humans will.

B. It is in Christ that God will bring the dead from the grave to the life above. When we are present with Christ, with God, who is present with us, we are together, forever.

III. We Responding
A. Our first job, according to this Lesson is to believe in Christ, pisteu,omen. When we trust the truths of Paul's words in the Epistle Lesson, God is with us in life and in death.

B. Next, Paul calls us to encourage one another with this passage's hopeful truths. As it encourages and comforts us, we would that it does so for, to and with others.

So, God faces death with a way of dealing with it, by coming to those of us and of ours who have died, to be with us. Christ has both shown and paved the way for us to live together in times of living and of death. Our response convinces us God has ways of uniting us with the Risen Christ as we live and when we die.`

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