Adam Northcroft
Let's give some hope and care to the bereaved

Bereavement is brutal.  For some it happens without warning leaving them stunned by the loss of a loved one and forced into a different and often unwanted life. For others it can be preceded by a long, drawn out period of pain, making them wait for the awful but inevitable.

For a generation without faith death is final and uncompromising. You have no rights, your opinions don’t count and you can’t demand a different ending. And for something that makes such a big difference to you, that can provoke despair. No matter how successful you’ve been in life, you are powerless when faced by death.

Many feel terrible emptiness and isolation after losing someone. Some ask why and are stung by a deep sense of  injustice, while others are angry or confused, betrayed almost by the departure of someone so important to them. Life without them can be difficult to conceive.

It’s easier not think about it. In a risk-averse culture we tend to shut death away. It is perhaps the last taboo of our age. That is until it hits us in the face.

As a Christian, I believe in a God that doesn’t shy away from the reality of death. In fact he has a lot to say about it and urges people to not put their head in the sand. He is also able to bring hope in the tragedy.

Unlike human commentators God is uniquely positioned to speak on death and tells us it isn’t the end, and that good things await for those who believe in Christ. He also makes it clear this is available for all who are willing to receive salvation through faith in him.

Indeed, God tells us he has defeated death. That in the end it will be powerless and unable to sting. However, in the here and now he relates to those who have lost loved ones. He had the same happen to him through the loss of his Son.

At Hope Church we believe in a good God, even in the face of death.

We believe in a God who wants us to live out our lives in peaceful assurance and without any dread surrounding mortality or eternity.

We also believe in a God who helps us cope with the death of those we love. The bible tells us he is the God of all comfort – something desperately needed at a time of bereavement.

This year we have the vision of ‘Doing Church Bigger’. It means we are trying to connect with and help more people than ever before. As part of this we want to equip people who are seeking to help those affected by the loss of a loved one.

Many just don’t know what to say to help the bereaved, and often end up saying nothing. Grieving people can consequently be left to suffer alone at a time when they need others more than ever.

To provide some help to those looking to assist the bereaved, we are holding a seminar on this subject on Saturday July 22. Called Bereavement: What happens? What Next? Details are available on this website (click here).

Let’s not back away, let’s learn to be good news to those who need it most.