“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”
I am old enough to remember my Great-Grandpa Plumbeck’s funeral. He died in 1971 when I was 12 and at least as I recall his funeral was the first funeral I ever attended and so my first introduction to death as up close and personal. His daughter — my Grandmother Laura Jacobs — died 23 years later in 1994. A generation having turned since her father’s death I was now of the age to be officiating funerals having been called to the ministry and I officiated her funeral and that of her husband’s (my grandfather) who died eight days after her.
Now another generation has slipped away since 1994 and now Walter Plumbeck’s grandchildren and Laura Jacobs’ children — one in the same — are shedding this mortal coil and are being summoned into eternity by the only God who is — the Christian God. In 2021, 27 years after we buried their Mother and 50 years after we buried their grandfather Plumbeck we buried two of Laura’s children (Uncles Ralph & Jim).
None of them — not Walter Plumbeck, not Laura Jacobs, not Ralph Jacobs, nor his brother Jim lived anything but full lives. Walter was 85, Laura 75, Ralph was 80 and his brother Jim was 76 when they each respectively received their summons from God. They all exceeded the promised “three score and ten” of which God’s word speaks.
Of course, this means, by necessity, that Walter Plumbeck’s great-grandchildren and Laura Jacob’s grandchildren (one and the same) will be the next generation to follow Walter, Laura, Ralph, and Jim in the way all men must go. That would be the generation of my siblings, cousins and myself. Our great-Grandparents have gone. Our grandparents have gone. Our Parents and Uncles and Aunts are now slipping into eternity and with the turning of another generation (20-25 years) we too will follow. It will come and go in the blink of an eye. Then, the worst of all to contemplate will come — it will come after we are gone — our own children will experience the ultimate consequence of sin and will die. Our children will meet what the Scripture calls “the last enemy,” and will traverse the shadow of the valley of death.
So, goes the march of God’s providence. One generation rises up while the previous passes from the scene and yet it all happens so suddenly and so quickly despite the fact of our knowing that it is coming and is inescapable. For example as to the suddenness and quickness of it all, my Uncle Jim who we buried Saturday (27 November 2021)
Just two or three weeks prior to Uncle Jim’s death and only shortly prior to getting ill himself he attended a funeral of someone who was murdered by the Deep State as a result of the purposeful release of the Deep State virus.
There Uncle Jim was, comparatively healthy, attending a funeral with no way of realizing that in a very short time his kith and kin would be attending his funeral.
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (James 4:14)
It seems — this whole death thing — at one and the same time, so odd and yet so natural. At the end of it all, when this life ends it will matter most if you will continue to live after death.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me will live, even though he dies. 26 And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. (John 11:25-26)
Given that reality why be so unconcerned with the claims and work of the Lord Jesus Christ? Why be so listless in thinking through what comes next after this life? Why continue to ignore your sin problem and the fact that the wrath of God abides upon the children of disobedience?
Lord Christ thank you for being merciful to me a sinner. By thy grace awaken people to think about the end before the end is upon them. Grant them grace to be conversant with their sin and grant them grace crowned to be conversant with the only answer to the sin that stands between your just wrath that appoints men to eternal death.
Be pleased to open men’s eyes to the Good News of Christ for sinners that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ as that Good News is properly understood in a Biblical and Reformed context. This is a boon that we beg of thee.