Read Romans 6:1-11 "If we have been united with (Christ) in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his." Romans 6:5 (NRSV)
Jill Allen Maisch is from Maryland. Their entire community was shocked when three local high-school students tragically died in an auto accident just days before their graduation. Jill had taught two of the boys and remembered them fondly. Tears streamed down her face as she drove to school the next morning. She prayed for their families, for their friends, and for guidance in how to console her students. She didn't want them to see that she had been crying, so before getting out of her car she wiped away her tears in an attempt to appear strong. One of her students passed her in the hallway and must have noticed her puffy, red eyes. She stopped and quietly said, "I think you need a hug." She gave me a hug and together we shed some more tears. Her compassion showed me it was okay to cry.
Jill learned that being strong in the wake of tragedy doesn't require hiding your sadness. As Christians we know that even in the midst of our distress we can remain strong in the assurance that death is not the end. As we struggle through times of grief, the promise given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ strengthens us, gives us hope, and enables us to persevere.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for your son, Jesus Christ, whose resureection assures us that death is not the end, in Jesus' name, amen