Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The Body of Christ needs to learn how to administer “Good Grief” in loss, in crisis and in trauma situations of life.

Good Grief - part 3

On the lighter side of life:

An ancient story is told about a slave who traveled with his master to Baghdad. As he walked the busy streets he found himself in the market place where he saw Death in human form. Death looked at him with such a piercing look that it frightened the slave, & he interpreted that look to mean that Death was planning soon to take his life.

He quickly rushed back to his master & told him what he had seen in the market place & asked if he might ride his camel to Samara, 15 hours away, because he was sure that he would be safe there, for Death would not know where to find him. The master gave him permission, & quickly the slave was on his way to Samara.

A few hours later the master was in the market place where he also saw Death in human form. He walked up to Death & asked, "Why did you look at my slave with such a threatening look?" Death answered, "That was not a threatening look. That was a look of surprise. I had a date with him tonight in Samara & I was surprised to see him here in Baghdad."

Contributed to Sermon Central by: MELVIN NEWLAND

Video Illustration from Illustrate Volume 4 – Tammy – death of her husband.

Thesis: The Body of Christ needs to learn how to administer “Good Grief” in loss, in crisis and in trauma situations of life.

Scripture Text:

Ecclesiastes 7:1-2

1 A good name is better than fine perfume,

and the day of death better than the day of birth.

2 It is better to go to a house of mourning

than to go to a house of feasting,

for death is the destiny of every man;

the living should take this to heart.

Ecclesiastes 8:8a:

8 No man has power over the wind to contain it;

so no one has power over the day of his death…

1 Samuel 1: 17-27 - Our text reveals that grief is a major part of dealing with the death of others:

17David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, (at their death) 18and ordered that the men of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):

19 “Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights.

How the mighty have fallen!

20 “Tell it not in Gath,

proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,

lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,

lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.

21 “O mountains of Gilboa,

may you have neither dew nor rain,

nor fields that yield offerings of grain.

For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,

the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.

22 From the blood of the slain,

from the flesh of the mighty,

the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,

the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.

23 “Saul and Jonathan—

in life they were loved and gracious,

and in death they were not parted.

They were swifter than eagles,

they were stronger than lions.

24 “O daughters of Israel,

weep for Saul,

who clothed you in scarlet and finery,

who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.

25 “How the mighty have fallen in battle!

Jonathan lies slain on your heights.

26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;

you were very dear to me.

Your love for me was wonderful,

more wonderful than that of women.

27 “How the mighty have fallen!

The weapons of war have perished!”


In our third series on Good grief we are going to talk about the importance of preparing for death. Why should we prepare for our own deaths? Isn’t that like morbid? Is that really what a faith filled person does? If you prepare for your death won’t that cause you anxiety? Many questions race through our minds when we address the issue of death. But here is a reality check this morning:

Reality check exercise: Everyone look at the person sitting next to you and say this, “One day you and I are going to die! So what are you going to do about that now?”

Quote: De Vries, Smeenge, “As a society we tend to avoid talking about unpleasant things, and death is in that category. We want to focus on happy thoughts, the beginnings rather than the endings. We work hard to accumulate and achieve, striving to do our best among the many challenges and difficulties of daily life, and we don’t want it to end. We don’t want to lose everything we have attained, and we prefer not to think about this inevitability” (20).

The truth is you and I will one day face death. Every one of us will experience this part of life! But my question to you today is, “How are you preparing for that day?” I want to remind you that it is closer than you think!

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