Fullness in Death

Daily Reformation, Psalm 31:9-16

From the Reformer

…it was a wonderful kindness of God to have Christ present, who brought with him eternal life. The meaning will be more plain if, instead of “and,” we put “namely,” or some other word of that kind, thus: If thou knewest the gift of God, namely, who it is that talketh with thee. By these words we are taught that then only do we know what Christ is, when we understand what the Father hath given to us in him, and what benefits he brings to us. Now that knowledge begins with a conviction of our poverty; for, before any one desires a remedy, he must be previously affected with the view of his distresses. Thus the Lord invites not those who have drunk enough, but the thirsty, not those who are satiated, but the hungry, to eat and drink. And why would Christ be sent with the fullness of the Spirit, if we were not empty?

—John Calvin, Commentary on John (4:10)

Pulling It Together

The hospital room was crowded with family and friends and neighbors as she spent her final days on earth, slowly slipping away from them. There was nothing to do but sit by and share the grief with each other and pray. It might have been a forsaken experience but instead it was full. To be sure, there was a feeling of pain and loss but it was experienced in a sense of fullness—not emptiness. The friends and family did not leave that hospital, on her last day, feeling alone or hollow. They had watched their loved one face the future unafraid. They had seen the benefits of Christ present in her life. A woman who might have been terrified and destitute was instead at peace and full. Because she enjoyed his peace in health, she knew it in illness. Because she accepted his grace in life, she showed it in death. A life that could just as easily been empty was full because it was filled with the fullness that comes from God in Christ.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers



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