I wept, for no man was found worthy

A death in the family of our MM editor last week, together with the very surreal experience of a livestreamed, socially-distanced funeral, have sparked some thoughts that seemed worth sharing. Dying and the fear of it have been an unnerving presence during this time of pandemic, with ubiquitous maps and tallies displaying the cost in human lives. This is a struggle for many, perhaps even for you, dear Mad Christian, and so we hope this little consideration brings you comfort.An article from a secular publication last week suggested our culture might need to recover a more sober acceptance of the fact of death. The writer observes the way technologically-advanced societies, where reminders of our mortality are often out of sight and mind, struggle to process something that seems so foreign to our existence, when it all hits home:“…almost without exception we remain crouched in lockdown, a frozen state that addresses our terror of death by banning nearly everything that makes life worth living…if we are to begin living again, we may need to re-learn some forgotten lessons about how to walk in the valley of the shadow of death.Recovering our determination to ‘do life’ will help a little, but ultimately, it can only be a distraction from really dealing with the problem of death that plagues the muck-dwellers who have no hope. St. Paul described it as the “last enemy to be defeated” and we Mad Christians know Jesus did just that on the cross. More than that, we have been buried with him in our baptism and have been raised to life again, meaning we can take each day as a good gift from the Father who loves us. As the Easter season draws to an end and we look forward to Christ’s ascension, it gives great comfort to remember: the new creation has already begun. It is breaking in on this decaying age, through the church, scattered embassies of Christ’s kingdom, declaring Good News and distributing the forgiveness of sins through water, bread and wine. This animation, an artist’s take on Jesus’ harrowing of hell, captures the hope of Easter Saturday, when the Light of Light “conquered the devil, destroyed hell’s power, and took from the devil all his might”, remaking creation in Himself, so that “neither hell nor the devil can take captive or injure us,” (Solid Declaration IX). As Rev. Fisk is fond of saying, “You are immortal.” 
And now, returning to the regularly scheduled program….