Summary: Christians have the emotional and spiritual resources to cope with loss.

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20110703 The Third Sunday After Pentecost - Web Site

Title: How to Grieve without Obsessing

Text: II Samuel 1 – 2:7

Thesis: Christians have the emotional and spiritual resources to cope with loss.


On July 4, 1776, just 235 years ago, the Continental Congress adopted The Declaration of Independence, officially severing the 13 Colonies from British rule. During the 8 year American Revolutionary War, 25,000 American revolutionaries died but only 8,000 in battle. The other 17,000 died of disease or starvation. (

I cite the Korean War because it was sixty-one years and eight days ago that the Korean War began on June 25, 1950. It continued until July 27, 1953 when an armistice was signed reaffirming the division of the Koreas along the 38th Parallel with a two and a half mile wide DMZ buffer zone between North and South Korea. It was a war fought between South Korea and the United Nations against North Korea, supported by the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union. It was something of a battle for the independence of a democratic South Korea against the growing threat of communism that was prevalent throughout the Cold War. The Department of Defense reports 36,516 American soldiers died during the Korean War and an additional 8,176 are reported missing in action. (

Currently the United States has been involved in the war in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001… 9 years and 269 days. Of the 2,475 coalition deaths, 1,572 were American soldiers. And of the 16,000 coalition wounded, 10,944 were American soldiers. (

If you were to Google “Timeline for United States Military Operations” you would see a mind boggling cataloging of our country’s involvements in conflicts around the world. It is no wonder that 2012 defense related expenditures are estimated to between 1 and 1.4 trillion dollars. It is sobering to know that U.S. military spending is 40% of total global military spending. Our military expenditures are 6 times that of China. And the United States and our allies are responsible for 3/4ths of global military spending. (

But as shockingly sad as all of that is… the most devastating statistic is the loss of lives.

The setting for our story today is that of war. It was a deadly ongoing conflict between the army of Israel and the Philistine army. In our story today the Israelite army collapsed and fled before the Philistines. They killed Saul’s three sons, Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shau. Archers eventually wounded King Saul prompting Saul to ask his armor-bearer to take his life rather than be captured and humiliated by the enemy. He would not so Saul fell on his own sword as did his armor-bearer. And when the dust had cleared, the Philistines had cut off King Saul’s head and nailed his body and the bodies of his three sons to a wall. (I Samuel 31)

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