This month's issue of Tabletalk explores the nature of death and disease from a biblical perspective and seeks to provide meaning and hope in the midst of the harsh realities of life in a sinful world. Tabletalk editor Burk Parsons begins his "Coram Deo" column in this way:
I was sixteen when my father died. It was a Sunday evening in late September of 1992 when I heard the news of his death. I had just returned from work when my mother came into my room in tears. My father was born in 1924, and his first son was killed in a hunting accident in 1969 at the age of eighteen. In 1986, my youngest sister was diagnosed with a disease that was projected to take her life by age 20. But despite these tragedies, my experiences are not altogether unique. Death and disease come to every family, and all of us have painful stories that daily weigh heavily on our hearts and minds. Our stories all have a similar theme because we are all sons of Adam, in whom we all died because we all sinned in him and fell into a state of sin and misery with him.
As a pastor, and having served now in some sort of ministerial capacity for sixteen years, I have witnessed many deaths and have held the hands of countless men and women and boys and girls who are themselves suffering from some sort of disease or dealing with the death or disease of a loved one. I dare not begin to count the number of teenagers, moms, and dads who have attempted or committed suicide, and I never seem to be able to forget the faces of those who have died as I knelt at their bedsides holding their hands.
Continue reading "Death, Disease & the Gospel."